This year I asked Josh what he’d like for his birthday dinner. He said he didn’t care as long as I made Sweet Red Pepper soup.
Several years ago the kids and I started doing a Christmas Eve dinner with various friends who for whatever reason either had nothing better to do or didn’t want to see their own families, or couldn’t or whatever. Long story short, Christmas Eve generally ends up with us and close friends drinking wine and playing Win, Lose or Draw and Cards Against Humanity (a newer tradition…) after having a lovely meal.
For several years, I’d make a lovely Saffron Rice with Shrimp with Garlic and Mango. (I will post those another time…) We’d start the dinner with this soup, and then eat the other… Katy eating a lot of saffron rice (one of her faves) and Josh basically skipping the shrimp and just eating bowl after bowl of soup with crackers. For one, he loves the soup… and doesn’t really care for shrimp as it turns out… who knew…?
Anyway… I made it for his birthday… he ate pretty much the whole pot.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 sweet red peppers, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (I have left this out at times… still delish)
- 5 cups vegetable stock (or you can use chicken broth)
- 4 plum tomatoes, chopped (I often use canned)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream (I use half and half for less fat)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Place the red bell pepper, onion and garlic in the saucepan and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
Pour in the broth, chopped tomatoes, bay leaf, basil, sugar, paprika, salt and pepper – stirring well, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth or use an emulsion blender to puree.
Stir in the heavy cream and more salt and pepper to taste if desired and allow to heat through, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve!!
Vegan option: replace cream with another cup of vegetable stock. For creamier texture, add two chopped potatoes to vegetable stock and cook until soft and puree with other veggies.