Sunday, April 17, 2011

Roasted red pepper and ginger soup

Breakfast: Apple and blackberry smoothie

Lunch: Roasted red pepper and ginger soup

Dinner: VeggieliciousFresh; I love this place but I'll gush about it much more later

 When you are from a country that is cold, soups are your friend. When you are a poor-ass student, soups are also your friend. When you’ve been both and now have a bit more money but hate wasted food, you realise that, you know what, soups are still awesome!

When I was living in Fallowfield in Manchester I would go to the local Sainsbury’s on my way home from uni and head straight for the ‘reduced’ veggies section. I would buy whatever was there and go home and make smoothies and soups to my heart’s content, and they would feed me all week; heaps better than pot noodles or a takeaway from Gemini's and cheap to boot.

These days I do the same thing; over-ripe bananas are great for banana bread, soft apples can be made into a great compote to go on yogurt, and red peppers that are just the wrong side of perfectly ripe make this soup insanely delicious and cost-effective too.

The ginger here is a big help if you’re getting sick. I have recently refined this recipe a bit and I think it's massively better with a bit of a kick to it!

You’ll need:
            4 big red peppers
            2 big fat chunks of ginger
            500 ml hot veg stock
            1 large onion, sliced   
            2 cloves garlic, crushed
            chili flakes or 1/2 a small red chili, diced
            olive oil / sunflower oil

Place the red peppers on a baking tray whole and roast at 160 for about an hour, turning them over from time to time
If the skins are blackening in places and the peppers are sagging, they can be used. Feel free to leave them in longer if you prefer
            Optional: peel off the blackened bits of the skin and eat them. They’re amazing
Optional: Take them out of the oven and put in Ziplock bags to sweat for about ten minutes.
Fry the onion and garlic in the oil in a large pan, until the onions are softening but not browning
If you’re using a real chili, add this to the pan and fry
Take the peppers out of the bags and remove the stalks and innards; save the juices!
Cut the peppers into slices and add to the pan, along with the juices from the bags
Cook for a few mins, then add the hot veg stock
Bring to the boil and grate in the ginger
Simmer for 15-20 minutes
            Allow to cool, then blend thoroughly
            Bring back to the boil and add the chili flakes, if using
            Serve with toasted bread. A blob of plain yogurt also goes really nicely on top

This is great to put in the fridge and have the next day with crusty bread, especially if the weather has turned on its head and started snowing again, which it has done here. My cute spring dresses are not impressed at all!

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