The two soups I am going to write about are real keepers. I believe the roasted red pepper soup came out of an old Gourmet Magazine....sometime in the 80's. The recipe card has been so well used that the origins of it's source are no longer legible. The other soup I will share is Smoked Trout Chowder from the 1/96 issue of Eating Well. (I do not think that magazine is around any more.) Both of these soups are "stunners" as my Mother-in-law would say.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup (serves 6)
Let me start out with a disclaimer. The original recipe calls for roasting your own peppers individually over a flame, skinning them and then letting them steam in a paper bag for ten minutes. I used to do this. For many years I did this.... and still do for certain pepper recipes. However, for this one, the already-roasted-packed-in-a-jar variety will do just fine. I have taste tested the two versions and you can not tell the difference, but, by all means, feel free to do it the "hard" way.
Two 13.4 oz jars of roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. butter
2 med. carrots, chopped
2 med. onions, chopped
2 tbsp. flour
6 cups stock, I use chicken
3 shallots, chopped
1 cup FRESH mint leaves, chopped (the mint must be fresh, do not try to substitute dry...or else the soup will not be fabulous)
a couple dashes of hot sauce.
Heat oil and butter in a soup pot over med. heat. Add carrot and onion. Cover and let cook for 8 or so minutes. Add chopped peppers and shallots and continue cooking for 2 min.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly for 2 min.. Turn the heat to high and add chicken broth, while stirring, until the soup comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add the mint, hot sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let the soup cook on low for 15 minutes.
Puree the soup and return to the pan. Serve with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt in the middle.
This soup freezes beautifully.
Let me start out with a quick editorial comment. This soup is fabulous and extremely low cal. for a chowder. Each serving is about 290 calories and after eating it you will feel so happy and well-fed.
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 lg. onions chopped, about 2 cups
1 celery stalk, chopped, about 1/2 cup
2 8oz. bottles of clam juice
1 1/2 lb.red potatoes, diced, about 3 cups (I use whatever potatoes I have in the cupboard)
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup dry vermouth (this ingredient makes a difference)
2 tbsp. cornstarch
4 cups low fat milk
1/2 lb. smoked trout fillet, flaked
1/4 cup scallions, sliced
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (please try to cook with only fresh lemon juice, it really makes a difference)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. blk. pepper
In a large soup pot, heat oil over med. heat. Add onions and celery. Cook stirring occasionally until onions are soft- about 5 min. Add clam juice, potatoes and thyme. Cover pot and cook on low until potatoes are tender- about 15 minutes. Remove pot from the heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer about 1.5 cups of vegetables to a processor and puree. Return puree to the soup pot and simmer on med. low.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and vermouth. Stir into soup and cook until thickened. Add milk, trout and scallions. Heat through and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
I would not freeze this, but if you do and have success, please pass that information along.