Sunday, January 10, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Soup

(While I acknowledge that the above picture does not look at all appetizing, I assure you that this soup is delicious (and nutritious!). However, if you're not a spinach fan, not to worry, because it is optional.)

Alright, so in the spirit of new year's resolutions, I'm attempting to revitalize this blog and continue sharing my kitchen creations with the world. Here goes!

Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Soup
1 Red Pepper
1 Large Carrot
Olive Oil
2 c. Spinach (optional)
1/3 c. Chickpeas
Pepper, Salt & Seasonings of your choice

1. Preheat the oven to 450 Degrees.

2. Cut the bell pepper in half and remove the seeds and pith. Place it in a pyrex dish or baking pan skin up. Peel the carrot, cut it into large chunks and add it to the dish. Drizzle the pepper and carrot with olive oil, not too much, just enough to lightly coat the veggies and keep them from sticking. Top with a bit of ground pepper.

3. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring the carrots halfway through.

4. When the veggies are done, cut the pepper into chunks (it will be very soft, so all you need is a spoon or a fork to break it up into chunks). Transfer the roasted veggies to a small pot and add about two cups of water. Cover and bring it to a boil over medium heat.

5. After bringing the mixture to a boil, turn the heat down low and used a hand blender to puree the pepper and carrot (be careful, it will splash a little). If you don't have a hand blender, you can also use an actual blender or food processor, it will just involve more dishes).

6. Once the soup is well blended and smooth (it will have a lovely rich colour) add the spinach (which you can skip if you're not a fan) and stir it in until wilted. At this point, you can puree the soup again, or choose to leave the spinach leaves whole (unless you chop them beforehand).

7. Add the chickpeas and add salt and pepper to taste. I'd also recommend adding other spices you have on hand to jack up the flavour, like paprika, garlic and onion powder and even some herbs like thyme and oregano. Enjoy!

Note: To make a more complete meal, add some brown rice, whole grain noodles, quinoa or other whole grain of your choice, or just toast yourself a slice or two of whole grain bread.

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