Monday, January 6, 2014

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Cauliflower Soup with Goat Cheese

Oh how I love winter and a great reason to have soup on the table!  Nary a soup out there that wouldn't please my palate.  And even more that make it dance.  I do loves me roasted red peppers and cauliflower, so needless to say, this is a good one.

So many variables for you in this recipe.  Add more or less roasted peppers.  More or less crushed red peppers.  More or less goat cheese.  But never, EVER, less smoked paprika!  For me, this is the quintessential element to this recipe.  It just wouldn't be the same.

Also, you can make this creamier or chunkier.  I made the full recipe and pureed half of it, and just slightly blended the second half.  I like A LOT of goat cheese, so I tend to add more, not just in the actual soup recipe, but in the garnishment. 

Use fresh red peppers that you roast yourself (at a dollar premium this time of year) or already jarred roasted red peppers.  I used a 12 ounce jar, but think I would have like a bit either a 16 ounce jar, or a 24 ounce jar.  Make it to suit you!


4 red bell peppers, cut in half and seeds removed (or 12/16/24/ oz jar of roasted red peppers)
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled and divided
S&P to taste

Place the red peppers on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down, broil until the skins are blackened, about 10 minutes, place in a sealable container and let steam for 20 minutes before peeling the skin off (omit this step if using jarred roasted tomatoes).

Meanwhile, toss the cauliflower in the oil, place it in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400F oven until tender and caramelized, about 20-30 minutes, mixing once in the middle.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook until the is tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the roasted red peppers, cauliflower, broth, paprika, and 3 ounces of the goat cheese and simmer for 10 minutes before pureeing to the desired consistency with a hand blender, a blender, or a food processor.

Season with S&P and serve garnished with remaining crumbled goat cheese.

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