I make this delicious soup for Valentine’s Day. It’s basically two soups and the combined presentation of them is what makes it a perfect starter for a romantic dinner. But, don’t just have it on February the 14th, it’s one of my favorite soups any time of the year. Roasting is what brings out the full sweet flavor of the red and yellow peppers, you cannot skip this step.
You will need a blender, large shallow soup bowls and a large heart shaped cookie cutter.
This recipe for the red pepper soup serves 4-6. Make the yellow pepper soup exactly the same way.
|red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut in half lengthwise|
small potatoes peeled and sliced
chicken stock (preferably low fat and low sodium)
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven broiler.
Line a baking sheet with foil, lay half the peppers with the outsides up and broil until the skins are black and charred. Work in batches and transfer the roasted peppers to a large plastic bag and seal. Allow them to “steam” in the bag for 10 minutes, remove the peppers and pull off and discard the skins. Coarsely chop the peppers and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the onions, leeks, salt and pepper. Saute over a low heat until the onions are soft and translucent – about 10-12 minutes.
Coarsely chop the remaining peppers and add them to the pot along with the potatoes, roasted peppers and stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and process until smooth. Return to the pot and heat through.
Place the heart shaped cookie cutter in the center of the soup bowl and carefully fill with the red pepper soup, holding the cookie cutter firmly to the bottom of the bowl. Then pour the yellow pepper soup outside the cookie cutter. Very carefully lift out the cookie cutter and you will have a “red heart” floating in a bowl of sunny yellow soup. The presentation will always get you a round of applause!
Toasted croutons, a splash of olive oil and snipped fresh chives can be used as a garnish at the table.