Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Garlic Crostini

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Garlic Crostini

One of my favorite categories of food are soups/stews.  Soups are comfort food.  They are perfect for a crisp day and warm you up inside and out.  In my family, a meal is not proper unless some component can be eaten with a spoon.  Literally, I have thought about making a wall decal that sports that saying and giving it to my parents.  When I was younger, every single day we had some form of soup as a part of lunch or dinner.  I do not know if this has something to do with my Bosnian heritage and upbringing, but I LOVE SOUP.  I make it at least once a week, if not more, and am always trying a new recipe.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Garlic Crostini

They say, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” the roasted red peppers above are what the peppers should look like once you remove them from the oven, prior to peeling off the skin.

 I was inspired to make a roasted red pepper soup for two reasons: 1) There is an amazing roasted red pepper and gouda soup that is served at my hospital (I know who would have thought cafeteria food would be delicious???) 2) My best friends Natalia and Patty texted me yesterday requesting soup recipes for the blog  (I have the best friends and support system a girl could ask for).  So I got to work.  Have I mentioned that I love this type of work?  I sipped on my yummy misto from Kaladi Brothers Coffee (local Seattle coffee spot, originally from Alaska) and scavenged the internet for a recipe for roasted red pepper soup.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Garlic Crostini

I love taking pictures of veggies, the colors are so bright and enticing.  With the red of the roasted peppers this meal parallels eating a rainbow. 

I think I found exactly what I was looking for when I stumbled across this recipe by Uni Homemaker.  I wanted a roasted red pepper soup that was loaded with other veggies and creamy without the need for heavy cream.  This recipe utilizes the starch from a potato to add that creamy texture you expect when you sip that first spoonful of the soup.  Seriously, it has the perfect velvety texture.  I tweaked the recipe a bit by — omitting thyme, adding celery, using red onion (I prefer this over yellow onion), substituting greek yogurt for sour cream (healthier more protein-packed alternative) and opting for the Sauvignon Blanc I had on hand instead of Chardonnay.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to cook with wine that you would also drink. ;)  I love recipes like this one that allow you to change a few components without compromising the end result.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Garlic Crostini

Additionally, I prefer to make my own croutons or crostini over the store bought variety.  I think it adds a nice rustic touch and then you get to control the size of the crostini.  I had some ciabatta rolls on hand, but you can utilize whatever crusty bread you have.  The directions below are specific to the ciabatta; therefore, if your bread is thinner you may need to watch it more closely when it is broiling so it does not burn.  Rubbing the garlic onto the bread when it is hot is an amazing trick that gives you the garlic taste without having bits of garlic on the bread that could burn when you broil it.  I rub the crostini with the garlic clove as soon as I remove them from the oven because the heat of the bread helps melt the garlic.

I am excited to share this recipe with you as the weather gets a bit chillier.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Recipe adapted from Uni Homemaker’s Roasted Red Pepper Soup.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

The Players:

For the soup: 
2 red bell peppers
2 large carrots
2 stalks of celery
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 red onion
1 russet potato
1/2 C dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
32 oz low sodium vegetable stock
1 t granulated sugar
1 T extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish
Greek yogurt for garnish

For the crostini: 
2 ciabatta rolls
2 cloves of garlic
extra virgin olive oil

The Rules: 

  1. Set the rack in your oven so that it is near the top and turn the oven on to broil (high setting).  Cover a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Place red peppers on pan and place in oven.  Set timer to 20 minutes.  Rotate peppers using tongs every 4-5 minutes.  The skin of the peppers should blister and char.  Remove from the oven once all 4 sides of the pepper are blistered and allow to cool so that you can handle the peppers with your hands.
  3. While you are roasting the peppers, prepare your veggies: dice the onion, mince the garlic, peel and slice the carrot, trim and slice the celery, and peel and cube the potato.
  4. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.  Cook until the onion is translucent ~5 minutes.
  5. While the veggies are sautéing, peel the blistered skin off of the red peppers, remove the stem and all seeds, then cut the pepper into 2-inch chunks.
  6. Add the potatoes, red pepper, and wine to the stock pot.  Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, making sure to loosen any of the brown bits (these will add flavor).  Add the vegetable stock and sugar and cover with lid.
  7. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.
  8. While the soup is simmering, slice the ciabatta bread in half length-wise, then slice each half diagonally to form 4 triangles.  Place the slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Place in oven with broiler set to low.  Broil until golden brown (~3-4 minutes), then flip over and broil an additional 1-2 minutes.  Remove from the oven and rub the inside portion of each crostinin with the garlic clove.  Set aside.  (Note:  the garlic should melt into the crostini and provide a aromatic and garlicky taste)
  9. Check the soup for doneness by spearing a potato with a fork, if tender, remove stockpot from heat.  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until uniform, creamy consistency.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve immediately with a dollop of greek yogurt, fresh parsley, and garlic crostini.

Pumpkin Banana Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Pumpkin Banana Cinnamon Swirl Bread

It’s that time of the year…the time for PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!! You can try to hide from it, but it’s better to just embrace the pumpkin madness. I am one of those girls that is OBSESSED with anything fall, especially all foods pumpkin-flavored. Well maybe not all pumpkin-flavored foods—one of my girlfriends told me about a pumpkin and peach protein shake she made the other day…I will pass on that combo, but I will thank the pumpkin gods for this recipe that I adapted from the Kitchen Snob’s Pumpkin Banana Bread with Cinnamon Swirl.

Some recipes do not need a story…they just need to be craved. This is one of those recipes.

Pumpkin Banana Cinnamon Swirl Bread

As always,

Bon Appeteek

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 60 minutes
Cool Time: ~60 minutes
The Players:

The dry ingredients
1 C all purpose baking flour
¾ C whole-wheat flour
1 t baking soda
¾ t salt
1 T pumpkin pie spice

The wet ingredients
2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 heaping cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs (room temperature)
½ C packed brown sugar
½ C granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract
½ C honey-flavored greek yogurt

The cinnamon swirl
¼ C granulated sugar
1 ½ t cinnamon

Cinnamon glaze
1 C powdered sugar
1 t cinnamon
½ t vanilla extract
1 T vanilla-flavored almond milk (or any milk you have on hand)

The Rules:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl mix dry ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon swirl ingredients. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix the bananas, pumpkin, and eggs.
  5. Add the sugars, vanilla extract and greek yogurt to the pumpkin mixture. Mix well.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, do not over mix.
  7. Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon swirl mixture. Pour remaining half of the batter over the cinnamon swirl layer.
  8. Bake for one hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes then remove from loaf pan. Let the bread come to room temperature.
  9. Combine ingredients for the cinnamon glaze and drizzle over the bread.
  10. Enjoy with an ice-cold glass of milk or with coffee/tea.