Saturday, February 18, 2017

Red Pepper Tomato Soup*

                                                                             photo GCB Press all rights reserved
Peppers are indigenous to the new world, fossilized remains in Peru indicate that peppers existed as early as1200 BC, and were cultivated in Central and South America in prehistoric times. Columbus brought them to Europe in 1493, and they were quickly adopted and cultivated as decorative additions to floral presentations.** 

Europeans gave peppers their modern name when it was discovered that the fruit of the plant was edible and tasted like the black and white ground condiment used at their tables, pepper.

Today the confusion remains and the argument over whether peppers are fruit or vegetable depends on largely on whom you ask, a gardener or a cook.

(1825-1905) "Soup" (1865)     
This recipe marries red peppers with tomato, another case of dual identities combined in a tasteful union. 


1 soy bacon strip
2 teaspoons Earth Balance vegetable spread, divided
1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Splash hot pepper sauce
Dash cayenne pepper
1 cup vegetable broth, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream [vegan alternative: to 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk add 1 teaspoon Sour Supreme, mix      thoroughly]
1/4 teaspoon salt or preferred, Himalayan Pink Salt


        1 To a skillet add 1 teaspoon vegetable spread and cook soy bacon  until crisp. Remove, set aside. To the drippings, add the red pepper, onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, hot pepper sauce and cayenne until well blended. Add 1/4 cup broth. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes. Puree in a blender; set aside.

    2 In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt remaining vegetable spread. Stir in flour; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Gradually add remaining broth; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; reduce heat to low.

3 Gradually stir in cream and salt. Add puree; heat through. Crumble soy bacon over top. Garnish with vegan sour cream, chives and red pepper if desired. 

Serves 2

*Originally published as Pretty Pepper Soup in  Reminisce Extra August 1998, revised by HCAYK to be vegetarian

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