Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Lonely Red Pepper

When autumn first begins to show its colors, soups and stews creep back onto the weekly menu at our house. There's perhaps nothing more comforting on a chilly fall afternoon than a warm bowl of soup with homemade bread or biscuits.

Well, fall isn't here yet, and it topped 91 degrees in Morgantown today, but I was bound and determined to sneak soup onto the menu! It wasn't my fault though...

I blame it all on the pepper. The lonely, red bell pepper.

She seemed so forlorn and desperate, sitting in the fridge, crying out, "Roast me, Kylie! Hold me over the open flame and roast me, girl!" I wasn't about to let the lonely red pepper down.

Consequently, tonight's dinner was one of my favorite winter soups: Roasted Red Pepper & Corn Chowder. The ingredient list is quite simple, with the bulk of your time spent roasting and preparing the pepper. This soup is light and healthy, and merely needs a slice of crusty bread to accompany it, or maybe a small side salad. I couldn't resist Cooking Light's recommendation to sprinkle the top with Blue Cheese crumbles though (if someone suggests the addition of fine cheese to a meal, it's an unusual day that I turn it down).

So, here is the story of a lonely red pepper. If you're not in the mood for her melo-dramatic and depressing story, you can skip right down to the recipe :)

She started glossy and fresh, straight from the fridge (I forgot to get her "before" glamour shot.). We held her over an open flame...
She wasn't so glossy and shiny anymore.
After we let her sit, covered in a bowl, for 10 minutes, we peeled the charred skin away.
Naked, lonely pepper!
Now she's ready to make some chowder...
Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Chowder
(adapted from a Cooking Light recipe)

Do your lonely red pepper justice and make sure you roast it! This recipe calls for the corn on the cob to also be roasted or grilled (which would be a-mazing!), but since I forgot to do so, I simply pre-cooked it briefly before adding it to the soup. In the winter, when corn on the cob isn't as plentiful, I've been known to just use frozen corn with this recipe!

  • 3 red bell peppers, roasted (see picture story above)
  • 3 ears of roasted or grilled corn
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (approximate)
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 28 oz. jar diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Crumbled blue cheese

1) Coarsely chop bell peppers and cut corn off the cobs.

2) Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 -7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, corn, and bell pepper. Increase heat to high and stir in broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 -20 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.

3) Puree the soup in a food processor (I did this in several shifts since we have a mini-prep food processor. I pureed a bowl-ful of the soup, and placed the pureed mixture in a large bowl. I repeated this procedure until about 3/4 of the soup had been pureed. I left the last 1/4 of the soup un-processed, as I wanted to keep a few of the corn kernel whole for texture).

4) Re-heat soup if needed. If you're a cheese-head like myself, sprinkle blue cheese crumbles over individual servings of soup.


  1. oh that sounds like the perfect bowl of soup for a fall day!

  2. Love those photos of roasting the pepper! I tried to roast a serrano pepper the other day, it was moderately successful, not nearly as nice as your peppers. :) Have a great labor day weekend!

  3. I have never roasted a pepper. I need to man up and just go for it - they're one of my favorite things to eat!!