Sunday, June 19, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Soup (& Pesto Pizza) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

You have to love a laid-back houseguest, one who doesn't really have a set agenda, seems to enjoy a little down time not running all over the island, doesn't mind working a few of my errands into the day if needed, and especially one that understands and supports the often quirky behavior of a food blogger. ("Yeah, I made this plate pretty to take a picture, here's a another plate just help yourself while I take twenty-dozen photos of tonight's meal." Or "Is there any kind of soup that you would be interested in / willing to eat when you are on vacation in 88 degree Hawaii?) Thankfully my niece Laura is this kind of houseguest and listed Roasted Red Pepper Soup as one of her favorites.

This one is from "The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Whole Foods Recipes for Personal and Planetary Health" by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre, MS, CN. It is a simple soup to make. Roasting your own red peppers always makes it better, so I roasted a couple of big, plump peppers on top of my gas stove and then threw in a half-jar of prepared ones that needed to be used. The soup says it makes six servings--but the half-batch we made would serve at least four.

Our trip to the farmers market Saturday morning had us craving pizza from the North Shore Farms Tomato booth but not wanting to wait in the extremely long line. Laura volunteered (or at least was willing--I may have "volunteered" her) to make her version of Pesto Margherita Pizza. With basil and tomato from the market, whole-wheat pizza dough and fresh mozzarella from Whole Foods, it was a good pairing with the soup and a relaxing dinner.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
From "The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook"
(Serves 6) (or more in my opinion)

2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt
4 to 5 red bell peppers, roasted & chopped
4 cups chopped tomatoes, or one 28-ounce can
2 cans coconut milk
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup minced basil

In a large 6-quart pot saute onions, garlic, crushed chili pepper, and sea salt in oil over medium heat until tender. Next add coconut milk, vegetable stock, red peppers, and tomatoes to pot; simmer for 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.

Puree the soup in blender in batches then return to pot. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. Then add the minced parsley and basil, cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often. Taste, adjust salt and spices if necessary.

Notes/Results: Creamy, slightly sweet with a kick from the red chili pepper flakes, this was a delicious soup. The coconut milk blended nicely with the other ingredients, and I used low-sodium veggie stock to keep it vegan. The pizza went well with it (The crust made for good dunking), but it would also be great with some big freshly-made croutons on top or with a grilled cheese sandwich to dip in. I will make this soup again.

There are a bunch of delectable dishes waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look.

Denny of Oh Taste N See... kicks us off with some Sweet Corn Vegetable Soup and says, "As a kid, I never remember my mom making fancy soups at home, she would make a chicken soup, especially when we get a cold, and then an Indian version of tomato soup. So, our choice whenever we went to restaurants was to order soups. Made the dinner seem extra special. :) And, for me, it was always sweet corn vegetable soup. It was my favorite Chinese soup. I don’t see it here in Chinese restaurants, but it would be a quintessential offering in Indo chinese restaurants."

Carol from There's Always Thyme to Cook tried Jamie Oliver's Corn Chowder and says, "I admit it, I love convenience foods. ... Could be because I grew up with a mom who had zero interest in cooking. ... She had four staples in her home cooking repertoire, broiled rib steaks, frozen cream spinach, baked potatoes and cream of corn soup. The kind of soup where you buy two cans of creamed corn and just add milk. Heat and stir. We loved it. My kids love it, she still makes it for them. And especially my Dad loved it. So in his honor and because Pops is Tops at I Heart Cooking Clubs, I made a corn soup that I know he would have loved."

Joanne from Eats Well With Others made an African Sweet Potato soup with Peanut Butter and Black Beans that along with her physical therapist may have improved her running time. She says, "Three weeks ago, I ran a 10K at a 9:51 pace. This weekend...I dropped it down to 9:22. Which I then followed up by running an additional 3 miles at Team In Training practice. And I wasn't even limping the next day. Insane. Unheard of. Breathtaking. ... I'm pretty sure knowing that I had this soup waiting for me in the fridge also helped. There's nothing I love more than peanut butter. At least. That's what I thought until I mixed it with sweet potatoes and red curry in this soup. Now I'm not really sure I want to eat peanut butter any other way. Even in 100+ degree weather. Yeah. It's a pretty serious soup."

Tigerfish from Teczcape - An Escape to Food has two salads to share this week. The first is this Turmeric-Infused Quinoa Salad. She says, "It's time! Time for quinoa salad after using quinoa time and again for my power congee. Quinoa salad is a popular way to prepare (and use quinoa). Choose your favorite veggie(s) for your quinoa salad and you are halfway there. I chose my favorite (current) way of food preparation - Steaming!!! Yep! This Garlic-Steamed Broccoli made my first quinoa salad. Not the last definitely as I really enjoyed this quinoa dish - light and refreshing."

Tigerfish also made this Dried Fruits Salad and says, "What am I doing with dried fruits in the start of summer? I should be indulging in juicy and plump peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, berries. Well I had this sometime back. Also, naturally dried fruits (without preservatives such as sulphur dioxide) can be a good alternative to using fresh fruits in salads. can roll (wrap) these little dried sweet gems with the arugula leaves and pop them into your mouth! Call it salad - snacking. :D"

It is nice to have Stash from The Spamwise Chronicles back at Souper Sundays after a long absence, and here with a Oyster Mushroom, Bacon and Heirloom Potato Salad, with Fresh Wild Turkey Eggs, Pea Shoot Flowers, and Herb Vinaigrette. Stash says, "Spring is such a lovely season because of the progression of produce at the farmer’s market. After months of heavy, stodgy, starchy meals such as hearty soups and stews, the things we eat change to lighter fare such as this salad which celebrates the height of the season in all its glory."

Graziana from Erbe in Cucina made this colorful and unique Indonesian-Style Purslane Salad and says, "Gado-gado is an indonesian salad, served with a dressing made with peanuts and lemon juice. I prepared a quick salad inspired by this recipe, using lettuce, fresh harvested purslane and sorrel.I used also an unusual ingredient for the dressing: onion shoots. They're delicate and fresh, and taste like shallots. A tip: Do you remember that I suggest you to not use sorrel stems in the sauce for the Chicken with Sorrel Sauce? I used them in this salad, and their tangy taste was perfect with the sweet indonesian dressing."

Lovely Lori from Fake Food Free is here with a refreshing Citrus Jicama Salad. She says, "I’m a little embarrassed to say that until this week, I had never had jicama. Embarrassed because while I’d read about it, recommended it as a new food to others, even saw it in the store, for some reason I never picked one up. On a whim, about a week ago, I decided to buy one. Then, of course, it sat for several days while I was trying to figure out what to do with. I knew from every description I’d read that I would love it, but what to do, what to do. ... I especially liked the sweet jicama with the juices combined with the savory garlic and spicy pepper."

Janet from The Taste Space shares a Mexican Salad with Black Beans, Tomato, Avocado in a Creamy Tomato Sauce. Janet says, "Sauces and dressings are what clinch a meal. Fresh, tasty produce helps, too, but oftentimes the dressing pulls it all together. And in this salad, the dressing is what really shines. It is a light, silky smooth tomato and red pepper sauce with a hint of cheese from nutritional yeast, smokiness from smoked paprika and zip from the chili flakes. Cumin and oregano keep this Mexican. You could add your favourite vegetables to the mix, to replace the cabbage, but I highly recommend the red pepper which conferred a sweet silkiness to the dish, almost as if it were roasted. I have never pureed my tomato sauces, but this dressing was so creamy because I used my immersion blender to make it smooth. The sauce was so good, I had to stop myself from gobbling it up straight from the stovetop."

Corina from Searching for Spice created this Potato, Egg and Anchovy Salad and says, "...I have actually become quite keen on potato salads. So keen that I now choose to make them whereas before I would have run a mile. I actually like the taste of new potatoes, still a bit warm with the olive oil, black pepper and lemon soaking in. I chose to pair them this week with anchovies – another ingredient I would have avoided like the plague a couple of years ago. I used the ones that are tinned in olive oil so I could use the anchovy flavoured olive oil in the dressing. Delicious – if you like anchovies. You could say this is a variation on a salad nicoise. A seared tuna steak instead of (or in addition to) the anchovies would have been equally delicious."

Spencer from Live2EatEat2Live Blog is back with more sea asparagus--this time it is featured in an Avocado, Tomato, Sea Asparagus Salad. He says, "Two tomatoes, two avocados, blanched sea asparagus, salt, sugar, and chili powder to taste, splash of rice vinegar, no oil since the avocados have enough fat, sprinkled with sesame The Cat gave both salads four paws up."

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes made alight and lovely Italian Rice Salad and says, "I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time breaking from the old …one protein, one starch, two veggies plates of the past. When I serve a meal without a starch, it feels like it’s missing something to me. Goodness knows, I love my pasta, rice and potatoes. So, when I find a side dish that gives me my starch, and my veggies, I am all over it. Like this, Italian Rice Salad, from Cooking Light."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week! If you have a soup. salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sunday logo on my side bar for all of the details.

***Note: Souper Sundays is posting early, a few hours before the deadline today as we are hitting the beach. If you have a dish to submit for this week, I will add it to the post tonight.

Happy Sunday!


  1. oh, that does sound super tasty! I want that whole meal...I want to dip my crusts ;) Have a great day at the beach with your super-easy houseguest!

  2. What a line-up! I love pesto and red peppers :) This is a meal for me!

  3. Wow! These all look especially good this week!

  4. Great round up, so much variety!
    Your red pepper soup looks delicious, especially with a side of pizza. Have fun with your niece!

  5. Hope you had a great time at the beach!

    I see more salads in this round up. Maybe it is hot everywhere :)
    Thanks for the round up.

  6. That roasted red pepper soup sounds delicious! I love the sweet and fiery flavors of freshly roasted peppers. I must try this recipe. I wouldn't have thought to add coconut milk.

  7. I love the idea of a soup with a side of pizza

  8. Your niece sounds like the absolute best kind of houseguest! Gotta love someone who's okay with just going with the flow.

    I love this roasted red pepper soup! The coconut milk is such a fun addition!

  9. Ha, ha! That is me with my husband - go ahead and fill your plate, I'll be there in a minute. This soup and pizza is a killer combo. Both look great. I'll be trying a lot of stuff from this week's round up!

  10. I've been seeing so many recipes for roasted red peppers lately that it's starting to be my latest craving. The soup is gorgeous and I love the little spicy kick. Your niece made one gorgeous pizza.

    Hope you guys had lots of fun at the beach!

  11. An amazing array of lovely meals. I particularly love your roasted red pepper soup. I make a batch of roasted red peppers every other week or so during the summer. Have lots of catching up to do after a 4 day hiatus of no internet. Wanted you to know my copy of The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted was delivered this morning. Can't wait to start it!

  12. Every photo looked wonderful. In spite of the heat that is upon us in Florida we still eat soup everyday - love it!

  13. The soup is the perfect companion for pizza! And for dipping! Enjoy your niece's visit!


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