When Ben and I first got married, and for the first few years after that, I hardly ever cooked with onions or peppers. I think it’s because I never really ate them growing up. I only ever remember my mom cooking with onions when she would make her lasagna or her creamy clam chowder.
And peppers??? I don’t think I had actually seen one in person until I went off to college and started grocery shopping on my own.
Oh, I can’t blame my mom for her pepper phobia, it runs in the family. My dear grandma is even worse than she is with shying away from spice. In fact, every family function that my grandma is attending, we have to make a special plate of food for her that contains no onion or pepper. Separate artichoke dip, separate clam chowder, separate lasagna, etc. It’s okay, we love you grandma! You know you’re worth the extra trouble.
With that being said, cooking with peppers, onions and spices has been quite an adventure for me. I am still learning the different flavors, heat levels and cooking techniques associated with each one. I find myself staring at the variety of peppers at the grocery store wondering what I can create with the array of colorful veggies.
One pepper I have come to love is the sweet red bell pepper. I get all giddy when I see them on sale for anything less than a dollar.
Seriously, though! Why are they so expensive?!
So the other day when I saw they were three for a dollar, I bought 6 of them! First I made some killer Pepper Jack Creamed Corn and then I used the remaining peppers to make this lovely Roasted Red Pepper and Jalapeno Cream Soup.
This soup has major kick to it! It is delicious!
With each spoonful you taste the sweetness from the bell peppers and honey, and then as you swallow that jalapeno kicks you in the toosh on its way down. You can add as much or as little jalapeno as you like depending on your heat preference. If you’re a bit on the weak sauce side like my dear little mom and grandma, you could even leave the jalapeno out entirely.
I love the flavor from the mixture of spices in this creamy soup. I threw in some cinnamon and ginger along with some thyme and oregano. The sweetness and earthiness of the soup really compliment one another.
The texture of this soup is also amazing. I pureed it in two batches in the food processor until it was nice and smooth, with only tiny pieces of bell pepper and tomato left for slight texture.
The half and half really enhanced the richness of the soup and cooled down some of the heat.
So if you’re not too hot already as these summer months are creeping upon us, fill yourself up with a hearty bowl of this rich and creamy red pepper soup. And if you are too hot??? Make it anyway and eat it chilled. It’s just as good!
- Olive oil
- 3 red bell peppers
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeno*
- 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup half and half
- ½ cup milk
- Sour cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle bell peppers, garlic cloves and jalapeno with olive oil. Rub to coat. Place on foil lined baking sheet and roast in oven for 30 minutes, turning after 20 minutes to avoid over browning.
- Immediately place red bell peppers and jalapeno in a Ziploc bag. Leave for 5 minutes to allow skins to be easily removed. Remove skins and seeds and place in a food processor. Remove skins of garlic cloves and add to food processor. Add canned tomatoes. Puree vegetables together.
- Pour puree to medium sized soup pot. Add remaining ingredients to puree. Heat over medium heat until warm.
- In two batches, puree soup mixture until very smooth.
- Return soup to saucepan and heat through.
- Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of dried oregano.