Wednesday, July 28

When Not To Roast Red Peppers


I woke up the other morning craving roasted red pepper soup. Not for breakfast -- that would be weird -- but for dinner.

Since I had recently purchased a dozen bright and shiny red bell peppers, I thought it would be a good idea to roast them first thing in the morning. So by 6:15 am, the peppers were sliced, drizzled with oil, and placed under the broiler.

roasted red peppers

Like wood-fired pizzas or chargrilled burgers, the smell of roasting peppers is utterly enticing. Except when it's not.

You see, that utterly enticing aroma becomes not-so-enticing by three o'clock in the afternoon. You can light vanilla scented candles (which I did) and spray air freshener (which I did). It won't matter. The smell will linger like an unwanted house guest.

So here's my advice: Make roasted peppers only after 12 noon. And then make this soup because it's too delicious to pass up. You could make it with jarred roasted peppers and canned corn, but don't. Roast the peppers. Cut the kernels off the sweet corn. Chop the fresh cilantro. Sure, it will take longer, but you'll be rewarded. This soup is wonderfully spicy, smoky, and sweet. Plus, it's topped with a crunchy, tangy corn salsa that's good enough to eat by the spoonful.

And if you're looking for something to sop up the last of the soup in your bowl, then make a loaf of this Jalapeno and Cheddar Cornbread. It works deliciously.

jalapeno, cheddar, and cilantro cornbread

Want to learn how to roast peppers on a grill? Then check out this blog post with step-by-step photos.

Southwest Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Soup
Makes 6-8 servings
Print recipe only here.

6 large red bell peppers
3 ears of sweet corn (reserve one for the salsa)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoons chipotle powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 reserved ear of roasted corn
1 scallion, thinly sliced
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1. Pre-heat oven broiler. Line one large or two small rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Slice peppers in half. Clean out the seeds. Place cut-side down on prepared baking sheet. Remove corn from husks, discarding all silk. Place on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle peppers and corn with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place directly under broiler for 25-30 minutes, rotating the corn halfway through. Broil until the peppers are covered with black blisters and the corn has lightly browned kernels. Remove from oven and let corn cool. Wrap peppers tightly in aluminum foil, or place inside of a paper bag and close tightly. Place inside of a bowl to catch any juices that might spill out for about 10-15 minutes. The steam will help the skins peel off more easily. Remove one pepper at a time. Using a paper towel, rub the skins off and discard. If you have trouble removing the skins, then steam the peppers a bit longer. Chop peppers. Once corn is cooled, cut off kernels, reserving one ear for the salsa.

2. In a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, warm remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute onions and celery for 5-7 minutes until translucent and lightly browned. Add roasted peppers, corn kernels, vegetable broth, salt, and chipotle powder, and cook 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro. Allow to cool completely before pureeing.

3. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth, or if you prefer, a little chunky. Taste it. Add more chipotle powder if you'd like some extra heat. Return soup to pot and heat on stovetop for 7-10 minutes before serving.

4. For the salsa, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Garnish each bowl of soup with 1-2 tablespoons of salsa.

You might also enjoy these roasted red pepper recipes:
Farro with Grilled Vegetables Salad recipe from Food Blogga
Roasted Pepper, Olive, and Brie Bruschetta recipe from Food Blogga
Fennel Spiked Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup recipe from Food Blogga
White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Salad recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chickpea Salad with Roasted Pepper Puree recipe from Sunday Nite Dinner
Pizza with Eggs, Roasted Peppers, Olives, and Arugula recipe from Love and Olive Oil


Jessica @ How Sweet said...

That is so true. I can never get the smell out of my house. I often roast them with sweet onions and it makes the smell even worse!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

This looks fantastic, and of course, now I'm craving roasted red pepper soup for breakfast. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do any roasting today, since I won't be home until late tonight!

Janelle said...

Your picture actually looks like hominy on top of the soup, not corn. I love both, but I see hominy so infrequently in recipes that I was really excited for a minute. Then I read the recipe and it sounds sooooo good that I'm even more excited. I'm definitely going to have to try this. One question, though -- it calls for chipotle powder. I don't have that, but I do have some canned chipotles in adobo sauce. For 3/4 tsp, could I just use one pepper instead? I like heat, so I'd be likely to end up adding a little more anyway.

nikki said...

I have a few poblano peppers on hand that I've been thinking about roasting and now considering them as an addition to this soup. The cornbread is a must as well!

Peter M said...

Anytime of the day is fine for me to roast red peppers...they are the staple food for Greeks where my parents are from. Gangway...I'm diving in!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Roasted pepper soup would be so welcome right now. Why am I in need of comfort food at 7:30 AM:D

Cooking with Michele said...

While I love roasted peppers I no longer can stand the lingering smell in the house so now I only roast mine on the grill. Simply slice into flat pieces and lay skin side down on a smoking hot grill until they are blackened. Great results - no smell!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That soup looks delicious! I love red peppers. I could really eat that dish for breakfast



Simona Carini said...

Very nice soup, Susan. I have not yet started roasting red peppers this year, as they are not yet at our market, but they should come in soon.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

What a wonderul soup. I tend to char peppers over a gas flame these days, but you do get a softer flavour when they are cooked in the oven.

The Food Hunter said...

Now I'm craving this soup.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Great advice, Susan, and what a gorgeous soup! At this time of year I love to blacken my red peppers outside, on the grill. Takes care of that lingering aroma.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I roast mine outdoors on the grill, but still the aroma lingers when you bring them indoors. Never did roast them early in the morning, but I can imagine it's not what you want first things when you are half awake. But that soup, on the other hand, looks divine. It reminds me of a yellow pepper soup I used to eat in Florence at Cibreo.

Kalyn Denny said...

That soup sounds just wonderful, what a combination of summer flavors! Those roasted veggie smells are hard to ignore!

Joanne said...

Noted. The same goes for cooking fish that early in the morning, I imagine.

The soup has such a gorgeous color!

Cara said...

This soup looks so deliciously creamy that I had to scan the ingredients 3 times to make sure I wasn't missing something!

Jessie said...

This looks so good! And you're right, roasting the pepper yourself makes all the difference in the world.

Jayne @WiseEats said...

I totally agree that taking the slow way is rewarding! The soup looks fantastic. Tonight, the corn bread is tickling my appetite. I recently moved from the South and have been craving cornbread! I never thought that would happen. Thanks for the roasting tips and recipes!

Deeba PAB said...

Yes, will remember to roast after noon. I love this Susan ... it's fantastic! Love the flavour combination!

Lynda said...

This recipe sounds lovely. I like how you use the corn in the puree and also in the salsa.
(6:15?! I thought I was an earlybird :))

Elise said...

Hah! We roasted a red pepper today and the whole house smelled like pot. ;-)

Monica said...

Here is a handy tip: for those that complaint about the smells.. here is a simple, inexpensive and sure way to make that smell go-away, you can use it when you fry anything as well - it's that effective

Mix equal parts white vinegar with bleach in a container and place in your kitchen. (and a little goes a long way)

That's it... the smell will disappear in less than you can say "it's .... like magic!" And instead a fresh lingering smell will stay.

PS: and no, the mixture will NOT BLOW Up that will only happen if you mix bleach with ammonia!

lisaiscooking said...

The soup sounds great with the chipotle powder, and the corn salsa looks fanstastic!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

You are too funny. This sounds delicious!

Katie Zeller said...

I just found some corn meal (a French - American internet store) so now I can make cornbread.... And my sweet corn is starting to ripen. I see this soup in my future! (after 12:00)

Homemade Heaven said...

Wonderfully healthy and utterly moreish. I love roasted peppers and sweetcorn, so this is a winning on all accounts.

Unknown said...

If you want to reduce the time it takes to roast peppers, try a really good torch. The technique works very well for bell peppers and poblanos and jalapenos, and Seranos, and with a good torch it is fast enough that one person can char while somebody else washes the char off. There is a demo at: