Friday, March 12, 2010

Red Pepper-Carrot Soup

Every once in a while I make a new recipe and I hate it. Usually, it's because it's too bland, and when you're making a meal the last thing you want it to be is bland.

Incidentally, that is the first thing I thought when I tried this soup. Boring and bland. Even after adding a little cumin into the mix, I still didn't think this could stand on it's own.

Fortunately, I was planning on serving it with the Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps, a dish that has so much flavor and is so bold on it's own that it welcomes a more mild side, where this soup fits that bill to a tee.

The roasted red peppers and carrots in the soup are wonderful additions to the strong flavors of the lettuce wraps and it's mildness is a welcome reprieve from the heat of it's sidekick.

When I roasted the red peppers I placed them on the burners of my gas stove-top, slowly rotating them until the outsides were black. I then enclosed them in a paper bag and let them sit and cool before peeling off the skin. This will save you time over how they suggest you do it in the recipe, but if you don't have a gas stove, you can stick to the instructions.

Red Pepper-Carrot Soup
Recipe from Vegetarian Times Magazine February 2010
Serves 6

2 large red bell peppers (1 lb)
plus slices for garnish, optional
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin (I added this in for more flavor)
1 bay leaf
2 large carrots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbs lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place bell peppers on baking sheet, and roast 1 hour, or until skin is wrinkled and blackened all over, turning peppers occasionally with tongs. Transfer to bowl and cover with plastic wrap 10 minutes to steam. When peppers are cool enough to handle, rub off blackened peel, and remove seeds.

Heat oil in 2qt saucepan over medium heat. Add curry, cumin, and bay leaf, and stir 10 seconds. Add onion, carrots, garlic, and salt. Cover, and cook 10 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

Add 4 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 25 minutes.

Transfer carrot mixture to blender, add bell peppers, ad puree until smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish servings will bell pepper slices, if using.

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