The theme this fifth week of Tessa Kiros' recipes at I Heart Cooking Club is "Harvest Moon: Food Celebrating Fall's Bounty/Halloween-Themed Foods." More precisely, this is what was on the IHCC site for the week: "The Harvest Moon is a beautiful and magical time to celebrate autumn's beauty, color, and splendor. How will you enjoy the bountiful gifts of autumn? Will it be with spicy baked goods, something hearty and comforting, or maybe even a spooky treat..."
I figured this whole idea of comforting food gave me carte blanche to make soup, right? I knew you would agree. Now, which soup would showcase the harvest bounty around here? I found it: Red Pepper Soup with Olives, Lemon Zest, and Yogurt, found in the Tessa Kiros book Falling Cloudberries on page 343.
Isn't this a beautiful soup? It tastes even better than it looks...the smokey red pepper, with tomatoes, the slight bite of the Kalamata olives, the fresh clean zip of the lemon zest, the piney goodness of the rosemary, and the creamy tang of the Greek yogurt. Seriously good soup...it moved right up to the number two spot on my soup list, right under French Onion Soup and right before Ellie's Chicken Orzo Soup. I will be making this one over and over this winter.
Click here and visit the list of links to connections for this week, which ends Sunday night.
4 red peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic lightly crushed with the flat of a knife
1 small red onion, sliced
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 (14 oz) can tomatoes, chopped
1-1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup pitted black olives, roughly chopped
Finely grated zest of one lemon
Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
Preheat the broiler to high. Line a large baking sheet with foil and arrange the peppers, skin side up, in a single layer. Broil for about 30 minutes, until the skin has darkened in places and swelled up and the peppers are soft. You might need to move them around on the sheet so they are evenly broiled or remove the halves that are blackened and leave some in for longer.
Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (or put in a plastic bag and seal) and let sweat for 10 minutes to make peeling easier. Peel off the skin.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook until it begins to bubble. Add the pepper halves, tearing them into large chunks as you put them in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree. The soup should be fairly thick: if it seems too watery, simmer uncovered for a while longer. If it seems too thick, add a little more water.
Check the seasoning and serve the soup hot with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of chopped olives, lemon zest, and rosemary.