27 September 2013

Farm to Table - Red Pepper Soup and Country Bread Croutons

It's the end of the summer crops in our garden for the year. The last few peppers have been picked, and the vegetable beds have been laid to rest for the winter.

This last garden-fresh meal will be one of our favorites of the year.

It's nice to save the best for last.

bell peppers

I love the bright vivid colors of these peppers. When brought together with tomatoes, cream, garlic, and seasonings, it becomes a smooth concoction that melts in your mouth. So perfect this time of year as the weather begins to cool.

Like most homemade soups, Red Pepper Soup is an easy to prepare dish with only a few ingredients and a short prep time. Serve it up with some fresh country bread or homemade croutons and watch your family devour it.

pepper soup

Add to the ingredients listed in the above recipe 1 qt. heavy cream.

red pepper soup

And lots of salt + pepper. If you don't have a fresh chili pepper on hand and appreciate the little kick of heat it adds, substitute 1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes.

making pepper soup

To a large pot, add your two cans of Italian-style crushed tomatoes, 1 qt. heavy cream, and one bay leaf. Puree your red peppers in a processor along with the chili pepper (if using) and garlic. Add to pot.

After your soup has simmered on medium heat for one hour, spoon a small portion of soup into a bowl. Add the 2 tbs. corn starch and mix well. When smooth, add the soup/corn starch mixture back to the pot, stir well, and allow it to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Serve with sliced country bread.

sliced country bread

If I'm serving for guests, I like to go the extra mile and make fresh croutons from my country bread.

Using a pizza slicer, slice bread into squares of any size. Lightly toss the squares with a mixture of olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, and fresh chopped rosemary. Place on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until lightly brown on both sides.

It's so good, no additional embellishments are needed.

Something this colorful has got to be good (and good for you)! The perfect meal for a lazy Sunday afternoon. 


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