Wednesday, October 22, 2008

{pureed red pepper and potato soup}

Last week, I got a call from the Madre asking if I had any recipes for non-solid foods since Grandma can't eat solids anymore :( I looked through some recipes I had in my folder and sent them straight away. This was one of the recipes I sent to her, but then realized I had never tried it! What kind of granddaughter am I to send my grandma some recipe that could be completely terrible?! So, I decided to give it a try. When it comes to soups, I am especially picky (they've always freaked me out a little) but when I like a soup, I really like it, and I just can't resist. This soup was SO good (which means it's pretty good considering my high soup standards) and incredibly easy. I made a few changes based on the items I had available and all was well. I also decided not to strain the soup in the end because I was so hungry. I don't think it really needed it, but I'm sure if you have the time it may make it even better! You can puree this soup in a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender. I really like using my immersion blender for this kind of thing because 1) the ending texture is SO much more smooth, 2) I don't have to wait for the soup to cool before putting it in a blender or processor (otherwise it splashes all over unless done in annoyingly small batches- who has that time anyway? I was hungry!), 3) there ends up being way fewer dishes since I can puree it right in the pot on the stove- perfect! So Grandma and the Madre, I made this just for you!

Pureed Red Pepper and Potato Soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

Salt

4 plump garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 pounds (4 large) red bell peppers, seeded, membranes removed, cut in large dice

2 teaspoons paprika

1 pound potatoes (about 2 medium), diced

2 quarts chicken stock

1 Bay leaf, 1 sprig Thyme, 1 sprig parsley (or dry if that's what you have)

Freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot, and add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, and then add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue to cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes, and stir in the garlic and tomato paste. Stir for a minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomato paste has darkened, and then add the peppers, paprika, and another 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the peppers begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes, stock, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley, and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste, one to two teaspoons, cover and simmer over low heat for one hour. Remove the bouquet garni.

3. Blend the soup until smooth in an immersion blender, or in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Work in batches, and cover the blender lid or food processor with a kitchen towel to prevent the hot soup from splashing. Strain the soup through a medium strainer, pushing it through the strainer with a spatula or the bowl of a ladle, and return to the heat. Heat through, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Garnish with garlic croutons and slivered fresh basil or chopped thyme, and drizzle a few drops of olive oil over each serving if desired.

Yield: Serves six to eight

2 love notes:

Mrs. JM said...

that looks yum sarah, i wish i could say with confidence that the rest of my little family would feel the same. i guess one of these days i'll just have to start cooking for myself and leave their own meals up to them! how are you?

sarah calder said...

thanks! it was really good, though i can understand how not everybody would love it. ya know, i made these fries the other day with butternut squash/sweet potato baked in the oven and they are my new favorite. drew really liked them too. i guess they would be like halloween fries or something. I also meant to tell you about a tangine that we made the other day too. i remember you saying you like some thai and indian flavors, correct? it was amazing easy (chop, throw in pot, and cook) and good for you too. let me know if you want the recipe. it's my new go-to winter recipe.

i am doing really well- just working today and prepping for school tomorrow- i have a test! no complaints here (except maybe for that test). how are you doing??