Along about Thursday I start thinking of the scrumptious dishes can I fix for the weekend. I treat myself to wonderful foods every day of the week but on the weekends I kick it up a notch.
Last Friday, when I did my weekly grocery shopping Whole Foods had some beautifully ripened red bell peppers so I bought a bag and fixed red bell pepper soup.
Red bell pepper soup is one of my favorites. Being a vegetarian since 2012, I’m always looking for new and wonderful ways to prepare fresh vegetables, fruits and leafy greens and soup is one of my mainstays.
This particular soup is made mostly with bell peppers which makes it a little different than others you’ll find online. Many red pepper soup recipes have other ingredients in considerable abundance like cheese, milk, cream and tomatoes. I think my recipe rivals these in flavor, nutrients and texture. But please try it this weekend judge for yourself. I don’t think you’ll be at all disappointed.
The keys to making this and any soup delicious are using healthy fat (I like olive oil), vegetable broth (I love all natural Pacific Brand Vegetable Broth) and Himalayan salt. This soup is particularly good garnished with fresh avocado slices and coconut yogurt mixed with lime juice, salt and jalapeno. I’m crazy for yogurt as a sour cream substitute! See the one I like best below. For a richer taste, you can garnish with cheese too if you like.
I use LaClare Farms Raw Goats’ Milk Cheddar as a topping for my soups and salads. I buy one package a week. I think they are about $6 or $7 per package. It looks small but it goes a long way. Goats’ milk is easier on your digestive system which is so important with chronic illnesses like arthritis. It’s less acidic. I keep cows’ milk out of my diet which puts weight on you and is very bad for the intestines and allergies. Some people don’t care for the taste of goats’ milk cheese at first however, I think LeClare is very tasty.
The main reason I have opted out of cows’ milk products is because of the horrendous cruelty of the factory farming dairy industry.
I’ve found delicious non-dairy substitutes for all cows’ milk products. In place of butter I use olive oil, grapeseed oil and coconut oil. For ice cream I absolutely love Van Leeuwen’s Oat Milk Ice Cream. For milk in my granola and over ice with real maple syrup I love Malk Almond Milk. In place of sour cream Coyo Coconut Yogurt is perfection. In place of cow’s milk yogurt Cocoyo Coconut Yogurt is absolutely amazing. I love it on the mornings when I need more than green juice. I eat it with real maple syrup and blueberries or strawberries. It’s like a rich Italian dessert. It’s a bit effervescent and if that bothers you simply add a little of the other brand, Coyo and it cuts the bubbliness. I don’t care for Coyo alone as a yogurt, only as a topping.
For a coffee creamer I think Nut Pod’s Creamer very good. Yes, it has some not so great ingredients but if you’re only using it a few mornings a week like fixing yourself a Sunday morning latte, it’s really the lesser of the creamer evils. For the rare occasions I use butter I use Kerrygold Pure Irish Grass Fed Butter. Using these products in place of cow’s milk products is no hardship what-so-ever for me, and it needn’t be for you either. I need to emphasize this to you because these products are seriously delicious and so much healthier than cow’s milk. I won’t eat anything that’s short of amazing. I’m spoiled! I admit it.
Other possible soup toppings for this particular soup are minced onion, cilantro, and a tiny bit of chopped savoy or Napa cabbage. For me, I use the goat’s milk cheddar and the coconut yogurt with lime, jalapeno and pink salt.
10 – 12 red bell peppers
Vegetable broth to desired consistency
I think I add about 1 cup but add ½ cup first and see how it looks. You don’t want it too thin.
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons organic grass fed butter (or olive oil)
1 teaspoon cumin
Himalayan salt to taste (I like my foods salted)
A few dashes of red hot chili pepper flakes
Halve the peppers; remove stems and seeds; and place cut side down on a baking sheet. I use an old one for this purpose because they get pretty stained. Place on top shelf of oven, set to broil on high to blacken peppers. Rotate every five minutes or so. Peppers won’t blacken evenly but that’s okay.
Once peppers are blackened (don’t let them broil too long or you’ll lose a lot of your vegetable to char) place them in a plastic bag to steam and cool about 45 minutes. Skins will slip off easily now. I remove skins at the sink because it’s a messy job. Place in blender on high to puree for a few seconds. Don’t over puree because soup will get too runny and foamy.
Place pureed peppers, butter or olive oil, garlic, cumin and broth in a large stock pot and gently heat on low to medium low. Adjust broth, oil and seasoning to taste. Serve with suggested garnishes.
Live beautifully. Eat beautifully.