Asparagus and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

I woke up this morning trying to think of what I could spend time cooking in the kitchen this weekend.  I wanted to make a soup.  I love asparagus and roasted red peppers.  I thought that sounded like a great combo for a mild fall day. When I went online to check this out I found quite a few recipes.  I ended up at The Pen and The Pear blog and this is the recipe I used.  I may have done things a little different but it was tasty just the same.   It was not a difficult recipe at all, just a bit time consuming.  I served it with an Antipasto Meat Salad (meats leftover from Pizza Friday) and it was quite a “simple and delicious” dinner.

Asparagus and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

1 1/2 pounds of asparagus, cleaned and cut into  2 inch strips.  Set the tips aside to roast.  Y0u will be using the stems in the soup.

Olive Oil

1 red pepper

1 shallot, finely chopped (you could use a small onion and that would be fine)
3 cloves of garlic (I used 6, doubling up on garlic is my thing)
2 Tablespoons of flour

3 cups of chicken broth (I used 2 cans)
Salt and Pepper
3 Tablespoons of heavy cream (If you don’t have, that is okay)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1.  You are going to want to roast the asparagus tips and the red pepper.  This is very simple to do.  For the asparagus all you do is put the asparagus tips on a cookie sheet (I used my pizza stone).  I put about a Tablespoon of olive oil over the asparagus tips in a bowl and lightly mixed with my hands.  I then placed on the pizza stone and in the oven.  Roast for 15 minutes.  I checked half way through cooking time and flipped over with a spatula. Roasting (really brings out the flavor), grilling, steaming asparagus – I love it any way!

2.  Roasting red peppers.  You can keep the pepper whole and roast over an open flame on your gas stove.  I had some red peppers I cut the night before in the fridge so I roasted in pieces.  If you are going to roast by broiling you would need cut in pieces.  (Food Network is my general go to place for basic questions and you may want to check out this article on roasting peppers.)  After you roast your peppers putting in a paper bag or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap works really well when wanting to remove the skins.  DO NOT RINSE the roasted red pepper.  If you can’t get rid of all the charred skin it is not that big of a deal.  Cut the red peppers in 1 inch pieces.  (Also, you can buy a jar of roasted red peppers.  I always have a jar in the house for pizzas.)

3.  Melt butter and saute the shallot (or onion) and garlic until tender over medium heat.  This does not take long at all.  You don’t want to burn and have to start all over.  Add the 2 Tablespoons of flour and mix together.

4.  Add 2 cans of chicken broth to the flour/garlic/shallot.  Stir until bubbly and then turn down to simmer.  Add the stems (not the tips) and simmer for 20 minutes.

5. After simmering take out the stems.  (Yes, take out the stems. They taste delicious so have some while you are waiting for the soup to finish cooking.)  The stems were in the soup to flavor it while simmering and it is well worth it.  After you remove the stems, add the asparagus tips and roasted red peppers.  If you have an immersion blender (which I do) you will want to blend the asparagus and peppers.  If you don’t have one then before adding the tips  chop into smaller pieces.  That will work just fine.

6.  Add the heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 10 minutes and serve.

Kent and I really enjoyed it with our salad. I was typing this up and said to Kent, this recipe is a little more labor intensive that I thought.  His recommendation;  if you are in a hurry open a can of soup.   Otherwise, this was a simple and delicious soup! 😉  PHEW!!

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