Roasted Red Pepper Soup

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I like to follow recipes verbatim because I think that I’ll learn something.  Such was not the case with Food and Wine’s Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Seared Scallops from September 2006 from the file pile.  First of all, I bailed on the scallops.  Last minute guests were coming over, and I didn’t have the time to run out for the title ingredient.  Besides, I was mostly interested in the soup, which should be substantial on its own.

I had roasted the red peppers ahead of time, which makes putting the soup together a snap.  I chose to roast the peppers over a gas flame as opposed to in the oven, as stated in the recipe.  Feeling like a human rotisserie, turning the peppers round and round so that they’d blacken evenly in all its crevices, it’s more work than I want to do.  Schlamping them in the oven for 45 minutes would’ve been so much easier.   The hardest work was removing the charred skin, a messy affair that gets charcoal and seeds everywhere.  I try to keep it contained by rinsing them in a strainer, but there seems to be no easy way around it.  Letting the peppers steam in a paper bag, post-char, only gets off a little, not a lot of the skin.  If there were instructions in this, I would have followed it.

I made the rest of the soup accordingly, a puree with minced pieces of peppers.  Complexity in flavor comes from the cumin, orange and cilantro, all of which bring out the sweetened roasted flavor of the peppers.  A dash of cream would’ve added more velvet-y smoothness, but I had tweaked enough already.

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