Customize Your Roasted Red Pepper Soup

As the weather cools, roasted red pepper soup makes an ideal dish: It’s warm, satisfying and full of bold taste. Plus, you can customize the soup with a wide variety of tasty ingredients. With a few cooking tips, you’ll be on your way to preparing a soup that can serve either as a great appetizer or main course.

Keep it classic
A straightforward roasted red pepper soup is a great option for a chilly evening that’s both flavorful and healthy. A Spicy Perspective provided a recipe to get you started. First, cut red bell peppers in half, removing the membranes and seeds, and set them in a foil-lined baking sheet with cloves of garlic.

Broil the peppers for 15 minutes, and then steam them in a resealable plastic bag. Meanwhile, place olive oil, onions, thyme and bay leaves in a pot to cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Mix in chicken stock with hot sauce, the roasted garlic, salt and pepper.

Peel the skin from the roasted red peppers and add them to the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Take out the thyme and bay leaves before blending the soup until it’s smooth.

Combine bell peppers with other produce to create a unique take on this classic soup.Combine bell peppers with other produce to create a unique take on this classic soup.

Explore intriguing additions
Once you’ve mastered the basics of roasted red pepper soup, you can experiment with adding more flavors and textures. The Food Network suggested including potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and shallots. Finish off the soup by mixing in sour cream, cilantro and shredded pepper jack cheese.

The New York Times gave directions for a version that emphasizes the sweet taste of tomato and throws in some different spices and garnishes. This recipe calls for making the soup with canned tomatoes, carrots, celery, tomato paste, basil and cinnamon. Include a medium-grain rice, such as arborio, and serve with garlic croutons, grated Parmesan and basil.

Spice up your soup with Tex-Mex influence by following directions from Cookie and Kate. Mix cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper into the soup. Adding arrowroot or cornstarch to the mix toward the end of the cooking process will give you extra-creamy results. Cut corn tortillas into strips and cook them in olive oil. Serve the soup topped by the tortilla strips, cilantro, diced avocado, feta and black pepper.

As you learn to cook, you’ll find many ways to bring exciting spins to classic soups. Roasted red pepper provides a spicy beginning for you to explore countless flavor possibilities.

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