Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Corn & Feta Cheese
NOTE: This is such a beautiful and versatile soup and can be dressed up or down for so many different occasions. You can serve it chilled, too. It’s also chock full of great nutrition since red peppers are one of the best sources of vitamin C, an important antioxidant, in the vegetable world. They’re also a good source of Vitamins B6 and A. If you’re not a fan of feta, you can dollop a little Greek yogurt or even kefir onto the surface of the soup before serving, making it extra creamy and less tangy.
1 h 15 min
- 8 large red bell peppers cut in half and de-seeded
- 1 - 2 fresh chili peppers optional
- 2 large firm ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 8 large garlic cloves unpeeled
- 3 large shallots halved
- 1 small red onion peeled and quartered
- ¾ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 3 cups vegetable broth plus more if needed
- 1 scant teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 large pinch cayenne optional
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro marjoram or oregano, well washed, spun dry, stems trimmed and leaves chopped
- 1 Tbsp sherry or raspberry vinegar
- 1 ½ cups corn kernels preferably freshly cut from ears of corn (frozen and defrosted will also do)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves finely minced
- 1/2 shallot finely minced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 42℉/220C
Place the pepper halves, whole chile peppers, and cut tomatoes in a large mixing bowl together with the shallots, onion and garlic cloves. Drizzle with 6 tablespoons of olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Place them skin side up in a large roasting pan in a single layer if possible and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until the pepper and tomato skins are crinkled and lightly charred and everything is really soft.
About halfway through the roasting, check the shallots and garlic and remove if their already softened. The garlic should be creamy inside its skin.
Remove the vegetables from the oven, cover the pan with a towel and let the peppers and tomatoes cool down enough to handle them. Peel and discard their skins. Use gloves when handling the hot peppers, if using. Remove their stems, slit them down the middle, and scrape out their seeds. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins. Place the skinned tomatoes, peppers, garlic and shallots in a medium pot with the smoked paprika, cayenne (if using), fresh herbs, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Transfer the soup back to the pot, taste, and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper. Stir in the vinegar, adding more if needed to balance out the acidity and the sweetness of the peppers. If the soup is too thick add more stock or water.
Preheat a skillet over a medium flame, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir the minced shallot until translucent. Add the corn kernels, salt and pepper, and the thyme. Cook for 2 minutes and remove.
To serve, place a small pile of the corn in the center of a warmed soup bowl, pour the soup around, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with a little crumbled feta.