Well, we’re back from Puerto Rico! Other than getting the flu while we were there, we really had a great time catching up with family and taking a little time to rest and relax. We went to El Yunque and hiked, San Juan, a cockfight! We had a very musical New Years Eve with Angel’s mom’s family, then a musical Three Kings with his dad. It was great! Nothing like home-grown food and family to set the New Year off right! We had so much food that I want to capture for you too, so stay tuned!
This soup is a product of not having a lot of food in the house. I like to create things sometimes out of the leftovers I have in the fridge – waste not, want not, right? It can be spicy if you want to add the red pepper flakes (which we do). And I recommend the bacon or chicken…it gives it a little depth. Though if you’re vegetarian, just sub out the stock with vegetable stock and omit the bacon and you’re ready to rock and roll!
Southwestern Red Pepper Soup
2 Red Peppers
½ Red Onion
1/3 cup Mushrooms
1 Garlic clove
1 Sweet Potato
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup Beef Stock (or you could do 3 cups of any stock, but I like this best)
½ Tbsp Coconut Vinegar (or White Vinegar if you don’t have any)
½ tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Cilantro
**4 Bacon strips
2 Green Onions
Sea Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Optional: 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Let’s first process the vegetables. You want to remove the seeds, stem and veins from the red peppers – unless you want it hot, then leave some veins and seeds in. Peel the sweet potato and carrot, then roughly chop all – the red peppers, onion, mushrooms, garlic clove, sweet potato and carrot.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the vegetables. You want to stir them around until the onions are slightly caramelized (= browned).
Once the onions are caramelized, then add the chicken and beef stock, vinegar, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until all vegetables are VERY soft. You want to barely poke them with a fork and they fall apart…if not, your soup will be lumpy instead of creamy.
Once soft, add the cilantro and blend the living daylights out of it until it is creamy and smooth. Then put it back in the pan, season with sea salt and pepper and place it on the burner on low until ready to serve.
Dice the bacon very finely, I like to almost mince it if I have the time. Over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it is dark and crispy. Remove from the heat.
**If you don’t like bacon, you could do the same with some chicken. Just dust it with a little Adobo Seasoning and cumin.
In a bowl, ladle out the soup, add chopped green onions (discard the white part), then bacon. I like to drizzle a little of the bacon grease around it to pump up the flavor.
Serves 4 (as a side)