This is possibly the easiest soup I’ve ever made. It needed to be – there is a lot of stuff going on these days. A lot of change. Shifts in the force. Signs pointing me in some new directions. I’ve alluded to it previously but we’re making some big steps..and I couldn’t share until I knew. Knew for sure. All this effort to clean out closets and pantries isn’t spring cleaning although it very well could be called that. We’ve spent a year in a half in a space that while it has plentiful natural light, it isn’t plentiful on space. It certainly isn’t plentiful in warm fuzzy feelings. There have been some bumpy roads with being in a space that just isn’t us. So all that big life stuff I mentioned?
We’re moving. Abandoning loft life to take another small step towards being thirty-something nesting hipsters. As much as I make fun of it, I can’t wait. Being in this minimal space was fun at first. Who cares if you drop an ice cube on the floor…or tomato sauce? It’s concrete – just wipe it up. No urgency. Clutter is kind of expected behind the few doors build into the place. The novelty wore off fast and – outside of being a cool space to have groups of people over for dinner and drinks – the unhouselikeness of it all has been wearing on us for a long time. As of this weekend, we’re moving into a house. With bedrooms…and DOORS. All the space we need to pursue our personal interests. Dedicated studio space. A yard to plant tomatoes in. Our grill can be released from foster care and be used religiously. I’m giddy…absolutely giddy…and I can’t wait to share this space with you and the process of building a home together.
That having been said, in the midst of all of this, I’m booked for 10 days straight and moving in the spaces between. I’ll still be cranking out a Saturday Soup for you next weekend…but other than that…it’s going to be quiet around here for a week or so. Thankfully, I’ll get to see some of you this weekend in Savannah for the Go Savor Culinary Retreat. I’m teaching a styling workshop with my friend Helen…and getting a chance to visit with Paula and Chris and meet some bloggers I’ve been following for a while but never in real time. It’s a big treat and I hope to have time to share that with you when I get back. Thanks to everyone who sent me comments and notes about the “life stuff” – your support continuously amazes me.
Now…about this soup. It’s so easy I’m almost embarassed to post it as a “recipe”. I’m not sure how it’s been in your part of the world but for us here…red bell peppers have been insanely expensive. I dare say…prohibitive. When at the market the other day, they were on sale for $1.19 a pound so I snatched up a few. So in between packing the endless closet of prop dishes and vintage barware, I simmered these peppers in some stock, whizzed it together and seasoned it. With a chunk of foccacia, it was a nice break for the chaos around here. The key to this soup is the heaping spoonful of yogurt stirred in at the end – it helps cut the acid associated with red bell peppers. This is a great alternative to a tomato soup and I could see this being served cold once the weather warms up.
Creamy Red Pepper Soup – serves 4 to 6 as a small soup course
– In a large soup pot with a lid, heat up the grapeseed oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add the shallot and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped red bell pepper and stir to coat. Allow to cook until they start to soften 5-6 minutes. Pour in water (enough to just cover the chopped peppers) and simmer until tender – about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Working in batches, puree the soup in a high powered blender or Vitamix – you could also do this in the soup pot with an immersion blender but I think the texture is more even when you use a standing blender. Return soup to pot, season with salt and pepper to taste and warm back up over medium heat. Add the greek yogurt and whisk in to combine and remove the lumps. Once heated through, garnish and serve. This soup with hold up for a few days if stored in an airtight storage container.