Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Souper Soup

With the weather taking a swift and decisive turn for the Autumnal, the appeal of salad and other such meals diminishes rapidly to be replaced by a desire for soups and other heartier fayre.

I know it is only August and that theoretically we have another couple of weeks before the short sleeves are replaced with jumpers and the barbecue is packed away for another year but the last few days have seen winds whipping through the branches and a significant dip in the temperature. Blackberries, perhaps the most evocative of Autumn fruits, have started to ripen to a vivid purple and the apple trees in the overgrown orchard next door are beginning to bear fruit, albeit a touch on the sour side – not that it will prevent us from making a batch of cider.

A triumvirate of peppers – one red, one green and one yellow – have sat in the vegetable draw for the past few weeks and yesterday seemed like a good opportunity to use them before they make that inevitable transition from edible to compostable.

I find raw peppers hugely unappealing, but roasted they take on a complexity of flavour that belies their uncooked state. They sweeten and lose the bitterness that makes them so unappetizing. They make great antipasti simply dribbled with olive oil, with a few grains of sea salt scattered over the top but I felt that something more filling was appropriate.

After they had been roasted, I added them to a pan with an onion and three or four cloves of garlic that had been gently sweating away for about ten minutes. Two tins of plum tomatoes, a little smoked paprika and some seasoning and you have a soup that can bubble away gently for an hour before it needs blitzing.

Alongside the soup I cooked a couple of generous handfuls of green lentils which are not only cheap but also wonderfully filling. These were stirred into the soup just before serving with a chunk of sourdough The result was a warming autumnal meal for an unseasonably autumnal day.


Cheeky Spouse said...

Mmmm that sounds yummy.
Yes, what happened to our summer? It occurred to me only yesterday, when I saw all those ripe blackberries and elderberries in the hedgerows, that summer is passing away and autumn is hot on it's heels.
Maybe September will give us some sunnier days... here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

Down here in the Southern Hemisphere, we're just starting to get patches of warm sunny weather. I have to say I'm glad to be in my boots and not yours! :)

Maggie said...

Roasted pepper and smoked paprika are perfect together. This sounds like a great simple soup.

Thistlemoon said...

That sounds delicious Alex! I know how you feel, we have been turning to comfort food a lot more lately as well. But then again we are in the midst of a tropical storm!

I agree, raw peppers are really bitter - but are awesome roasted and turned into soup! I love the added lentils! YUM!

Anonymous said...

Hey Alex, giving you an award tomorrow!

It's like a chain letter. If you don't pass it on, there is nothing to eat but quorn for the rest of time... :)

Pam said...

Roasted pepper soup sounds fantastic. Simple and tasty.

Anonymous said...

Would it taste hot? I mean the pepper?
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Just Cook It said...

cheeky spouse - I know, it seemed to disappear fast and under cover of darkness. Missing presumed wounded. It was wonderful to pick the bounty of the hedgerows though. mmmm blackberries.

Tom - I think some winter sun may be in order to stave off a bout of SAD! Southern hemisphere here we come...And thanks for the award, I'll make sure to pass it on today.

Maggie - thanks for the comment. It was a great soup, definitely one to try again.

Jenn - I can imagine that tropical storms just make you want to eat big bowls of warming and filling food. There's a postive side to everything!

Pam - Thank you, it was pretty good.

kabonfootprint - no, not too spicy at all. They were bell peppers rather than chillis so the only heat came from the paprika which is a much more gentle heat anyway. thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

I love soups in winter, warming nourishing and usually make my own. This one sounds little thick and my kids like thick too. But they don't like lentils.