Archive for May, 2012

May 22, 2012

Seasonal Ingredient Map

I happened upon this great  tool at epicurious a few days ago thinks to my impatience for fresh peaches.  It gives a list of in-season produce for each state, month by month.  I’ll definitely use this to figure out when I need to stock up and clear space in the freezer this year…



May 17, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

I don’t have any photos for this recipe because I hadn’t planned to post it when I did the cooking.  I make this soup every couple of weeks—generally whenever I can get a good deal on red peppers.  It’s one of my go-to recipes and not one that I generally give a lot of thought to, but this week it turned out so well that I decided that it deserved a wider audience.  You’ll note that as written, the recipe doesn’t include any salt, which is simply because I don’t think it needs it.  The canned tomatoes will add some sodium content, and you can add vegetable stock if you wish, though I prefer the thick texture of the soup without it.  The smoked paprika adds a lot of savory depth, but by all means, add salt if you wish.  Without further ado:
Total Time: 1h 20 min
Active Time: 40 min
Yield: 3-4 quarts (depending on inclusion of stock)
6 red peppers
2 28-oz. cans roasted crushed tomatoes (I use an organic brand that includes Italian seasoning.  If you can’t find a pre-seasoned variety, you’ll have to add basil and oregano to taste.)
4-6 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion
2 shallots
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1-2 tsp. fresh or dried thyme
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. pepper
Vegetable stock (optional)
 Preheat the oven to 375. 
Place whole red peppers on a baking sheet, drizzled with a little olive oil.  Roast for 20 minutes on one side, then rotate every 10 minutes or so until the skin on all sides has started to blacken and blister.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. 
While the peppers are cooling, prepare the other ingredients.  Chop the onion, shallots, and garlic and prepare the herbs. 
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  While the oil heats, quarter the peppers and remove as much of the skin and seeds as you can. I don’t recommend rinsing them, however, as it washes away a lot of the flavorful juices.   
When the oil is hot, add the onion and shallots and sauté until translucent (5 minutes or so).  Add the garlic and sauté a few minutes more, until it begins to get a little color. 
Add the peppers and the tomatoes, stirring to incorporate the liquids.  Add the paprika, black pepper, red pepper, rosemary, and thyme.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes.  If you like a thinner soup, you can add some vegetable stock at this point.   
Remove from heat and carefully spoon soup into a blender.  You’ll need to do this in batches.  Blend until smooth.