Saturday, January 26, 2013

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup with Gruyere Toasties and Homemade Potato Chips

I brought my husband to Belgium to meet the family when we were young and newly engaged, and he fell in love with "Toasties". They're perfect little grilled cheese sandwiches available at local pubs and cafes. Washed down with a Belgian beer and you really can't have a better lunch. Today we got an unexpected cold front and it was foggy and grey just like Brussels, so we thought it would be the perfect day for some grilled toasties and red bell pepper soup.

My brother in law is a chef at a five star restaurant in Dallas and he used to be sous chef at the uber hip Green Room in Deep Ellum back in the 90's.  He made the most delicious roasted red bell pepper soup ever!! And lucky for me, he gave me the recipe!! But I decided to tweak it a bit today and added bacon and cream cheese. The sweetness of the peppers, creaminess of the cheese and smokiness of the bacon instantly warms the soul. It freezes really well for up to three months and also makes a terrific sauce for pastas or chicken.

1 jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained and rinsed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
3 cloves chopped garlic
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp champagne vinegar
3 slices chopped bacon
2 oz cream cheese
1 cup half n half
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt or more to taste
fresh cracked pepper

In an enameled pot, brown the bacon until crispy- about 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove bacon and save for garnish. Add the mirepoix of carrots, celery and onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir two minutes then stir in the peppers, broth and vinegar and simmer about 45 minutes.

Pour it in the blender with the cream cheese and give it a whirl!

Then pour it back into the pot, add the half and half and re-warm.
Then make the toasties by cutting off the crust of some artisan bread then butter them liberally, add a slice of gruyere and a slice of provolone and give it a good grill until nice and toasty.
I also put a slice of gruyere on top of the bread and that was a smart move- tasty goodness!!

Garnish with bacon and chives and enjoy while it's hot. Perfect winter day lunch.
We got some Laguiole flatware for Christmas- because it has cute BEES on them :-)
No Begging Snorty McSnuffles!!!

Boy that was good...

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy Swan! I'll be sure to make this for lunch today, looks fantastic!Thanks for your great ideas and humour- it always makes me smile. :)


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