Saturday, April 3, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Bisque

I wasn't planning on blogging this recipe, but it was so delicious and so easy, I just had to share it. If you can get pre-roasted red peppers, you can knock it out in about 15 minutes. If you can't, it's really easy to roast your own, and it only adds 10 minutes or so. Also, even if you eat dairy, I really recommend trying it this way at least once. Soy milk + ground cashews may seem a poor substitute for heavy cream, but you'd be surprised how much creaminess the combination adds to this soup.


2 large red bell peppers
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cans tomatoes
2 cups soy milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup ground cashews
1 t dried basil
salt & ground black pepper to taste

Let's Go!
1. The easiest way to roast peppers is over fire. I have electric burners on my range, so I use a nabe burner. You can get a small wire grill cover from the 100 yen shop, but I just pull the rack out of my little fish broiler drawer and set it directly on the burner.

Put the peppers over the burner and turn the flame up medium high. They will almost instantly start to blister and turn black (and smell really, really good). Use tongs or chopsticks to turn the peppers every minute or so--don't pierce the flesh. Depending on your peppers and your set up, this will take about 5-10 minutes. When the outside is all black, they're done! Take them off the flame. The inside will keep cooking for a bit--some people wrap them in a paper bag or foil for 5 minutes, but the peppers in Japan are pretty thin, so I just let them cool on the counter for a few.

Under cold running water, gently rub the charred skin away from the flesh. Don't stress if you have some little black spots left. Just get most of the burnt part. The pepper will be tender, and you can pull away the stem, spines, and seeds from the inside very easily. Be careful when you open the pepper--the inside might still be steamy. That's it--easy!

2. Saute onions & garlic in a large skillet until tender.

3. Add roasted red peppers and canned tomatoes. Mix together.

4. Scoop the tomato mixture into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.

5. Heat pureed mixture in a stock pot over medium heat.

6. Stir in soy milk and ground cashews.

7. Stir in basil, salt, and pepper. Adjust to taste.


My soup was just part of a day of cooking things to eat with the rye bagels I baked. I made a yummy mushroom-pumpkin seed pate, modified from the second recipe on this page. This sweet potato spread was pretty tasty, too. And I eat this herbed tofu all the time.