Roasted Red Pepper Soup w/Sweet Potatoes

This is a simple blend of ingredients, but an exquisite soup- the sum is greater than the parts! Use organic peppers if possible, although a good roasted paprika will substitute well, and will remove the time-consuming step of peeling the roasted peppers. Serves 20 or so at The New Deli (but you can make a smaller batch for the home crew).

Sweet Potato Soup, Red Pepper Soup... All Good

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 red peppers
  • 3 lg. sweet potatoes (4 1/2 lb. or so) (or 3 TBS. Organic Smoked Paprika)
  • 3 lb. onion
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried ginger
  • 1 TBS. fresh-grated ginger
  • 1 TBS. salt
  • Fresh-grated pepper
  • Optional (For Pistachio Pesto): 1 c. pistachios
  • Optional (For Pistachio Pesto): 1/2 c. olive oil
  • Optional (For Pistachio Pesto): > 1/4 tsp. salt

PREPARATION

1. Roast peppers ahead of time if possible; this makes it easier to pull this soup together! To roast, get an iron skillet smoking hot, adding peppers (and a lid, if available). Roast each side for about 5-6 minutes, rolling peppers over about four times, to get all sides blackened some. When done, set aside peppers to cool until easy enough to handle. Roast: > 2-3 red peppers

2. Peel peppers after they’re cool. Remove outer blackened skin as well as seeds. Reserve juices as well, as it’s very flavorful. Set aside. (Skip Steps 1 and 2 if substituting paprika.)

3. Peel sweet potatoes, chop into big cubes, and add boiling water to cover. Simmer until tender. Use: > 3 lg. sweet potatoes

4. Caramelize onions in medium pan. It’s best if they’re crowded some, so they juice up a bit. As the onion juices slowly simmer away, the sugars in the juice caramelize, giving the onions a wonderful sweet flavor. Use: > 3 lb. thick-sliced onion > splash of olive oil for sautéing.

5. In soup pot, use immersion blender to puree the cooked sweet potatoes, the caramelized onions, and the peeled red peppers. (Or use food processor, or blender.) Blend in: > 1/3 c. olive oil

6. To pot of soup, also add: > Any extra liquid from roasting peppers > 2 tsp. dried ginger > 1 TBS. grated ginger > 1 TBS. salt > fresh-grated black pepper > more liquid (or stock) if necessary, to get to right consistency.

7. To garnish, you can infuse some olive oil with paprika to make a bright orange oil, for drizzling. If preferred, make Pistachio Pesto by processing the following: > 1 c. pistachios > 1/2 c. olive oil > 1/4 tsp. salt

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