Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread

21 Feb

Print the recipe pages!  

roasted red pepper soup

homemade french bread

Jarred roasted red peppers perform just as well as fresh would in this soup, as long as you buy the right brand.  Lucky for us, a team of tasters have given us an idea of the best brand(s) to buy and the results are linked below.  And good news, the most inexpensive brand came in first!

Taste this and you’ll see…it’s completely possible that restaurant cooks have known about jarred roasted red peppers all along.  So why not use this tip (and this ingredient) to perk up your food storage plan as well?  

Paired along with the soup is some wonderful homemade french bread.  I’ll tell you what, absolutely no one is going to turn this meal down!  And btw, this soup is great both on it’s own or as a base to add ingredients to.  Try adding in pasta, rice or chicken if you like.

serves 6-8

Ingredients:

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (13)

1 1/2 TBS olive oil –or 2 TBS butter

1 TBS onion powder -or- 1 medium onion, chopped

1 tsp. garlic powder -or- 4 cloves garlic, slivered

1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

2 (12 oz.) jars roasted red peppers, drained (*see note)

2-3 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth (*soup stretches easily, use more as desired)

1 TBS sugar

2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (*omit if sensitive to spices)

1/8 cup + 1 TBS heavy cream powder (mixed with 9 TBS water) -or- 3/4 cup evaporated milk

1 cup water

***

Tools and Supplies:

Manual food mill (*this is my non-electric back up plan to a blender.  This OXO mill is the one I have.)

***

French Bread (*recipe adapted from “Bread in a Bag” and Allrecipes)

5-6 cups all-purpose or bread flour

5 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 teaspoons salt {sea salt is best}

2 cups warm water

1 TBS olive oil -or- 1 TBS butter, melted

1 TBS  whole egg powder mixed with 2 TBS water – or- 1 egg white mixed with 1 TBS water

***

Tools and Supplies

spray bottle

perforated double french bread pan (nice to have but not required)

Savory Seitan Roulade (4)

(I bought mine at a higher end kitchen store but you can also find them online.)

***

Instructions:

Making the Roasted Red Pepper Soup (*two sets of instructions, non-electric vs. electric)

(*Non-electric, using long term food storage)

Puree drained red peppers using manual food mill.  If using heavy cream powder, mix together powder with water and set aside.

In a pot, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add flour, salt, garlic powder and onion powder.  Cook until fragrant, about a minute or so.  Slowly add chicken broth, whisking well to remove any lumps.  Once all is added, add red pepper puree, cream (or evaporated milk), water, sugar, thyme and red pepper flakes.  Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat.  Serve.

(*Using electric appliances, fresh onions & garlic)

Heat butter or oil in pot over medium-high heat until just melted. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add flour and stir constantly until flour is lightly toasted, about 45 seconds. Add red peppers, pepper flakes, thyme, broth, and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer until peppers are soft, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth and creamy. Return soup to clean pot over low heat, stir in cream (or evaporated milk), and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve soup when hot.

***

Making the French Bread 

In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt.  Stir in 2 cups warm water, and melted butter or oil.  Beat until well blended either by hand or using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. {Or knead in your mixer with the dough hook for 8 minutes on low-medium speed.} Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes to an hour.

Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.

Grease a large baking sheet. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Brush on egg mixture. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375º  F oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.

***

Photo Tours:  

Making the French Bread

Mix together 2 cups flour, yeast and salt.  Add warm water, butter (or oil), and as much of the flour as you can.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (2) Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (3) Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (4)

Knead for 8-10 minutes and replace in the bowl to rise (until doubled) for 30 minutes.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (5)Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (6)


Following rising, punch down and turn out onto a floured surface and divide in two.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Form into rectangles and roll up into logs, tapering the ends.  At this point you could roll/add-in garlic powder and parmesan cheese to make garlic bread if wanted.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (9) Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (10) Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (11)

Place on baking tray, score with a knife (which I forgot to do) and brush with egg mixture.  Allow to rise for 30-40 minutes until almost doubled.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (12) Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (14)

Bake for 20 minutes, brush again with egg mixture and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.  For an extra crispy crust, spray with water just before going into the oven.  Spray again after 5 minutes and once more after 10 minutes of baking.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (20)

***

Making the Roasted Red Pepper Soup 

Using the food mill to puree the drained red peppers.  In timing myself, it took me 12 minutes.  Be sure to use the medium sized grate, not the smaller sized one which will take much longer.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (22) Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (1)Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (8)

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (7)

In a pot, heat the oil and add the flour, salt, garlic powder and onion powder.  Cook for about a minute until fragrant.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (15)

Slowly add in the chicken broth while whisking away any lumps.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (16)

Add in the pureed red peppers, cream, water, thyme and red pepper flakes.  Heat to boil while stirring, allowing to thicken, then reduce heat.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (17) Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (19) Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (18)

Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread (21)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Notes:

  • As I mentioned in the intro, the brand of jarred red peppers you use is going to make or break the soup.  From Cooks Country, Oct./Nov. 2008, eight brands were tested.  The peppers were tested 1) right out of the jar, and 2) in Roasted Red Pepper Soup.  Here are the highlights of that taste testing, for more details link over to see the results here.   

WINNER:  Dunbars Sweet Roasted Peppers (I found them at Walmart for $1.99, 12 oz. jar)

said the tasters:

“Authentic,” and “not overbearing,” the flavor of these red peppers were the “perfect balance of smoky and sweet,” which made it our favorite tasted plain and in soup. Tasters liked its “firm and crisp” texture.

SECOND PLACE (as far as performance in the soup):  Pastene Roasted Peppers

said the tasters:

When tasted in soup, this pepper had a “nice, mild flavor” and rated top of our list. But when tasted plain, they were “unseasoned,” “watery and bland,” “bitter,” and had very little smokiness.

****

  • Now, to talk bread.  I love the idea Bread in a Bag’s author Pam Emick has shared of bagging up bread ingredients and turning up the convenience in making bread!   Kind of like pantry meals…for bread!  In this recipe, for example, the ingredients get stored like this:

In a Mylar Bag:

Oxygen Absorber Packet

2 cups of flour

6 tsp. yeast

2 tsp. salt

Baggie #1 (inside Mylar bag):

4 1/2 cups of flour (*extra 1/2 cup is for dusting work surface)

Add-in:

2 cups water (or a 16 oz. water bottle) + 2 TBS water (for egg wash)

1 TBS oil

1 TBS whole egg powder

(*BTW, you can print and try out two recipes from her books for free by visiting  this post and this post)

  • Oh, and one more thing…just in case you missed it, I demonstrated the difference between using an egg wash on breads using powdered egg and water vs. using a fresh egg over here in this post.  There really isn’t much of a difference!

4 Responses to “Roasted Red Pepper Soup and Homemade French Bread”

  1. Pam Emick February 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Very cool!

    -Pam

  2. Molly Jean February 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    I LOVE roasted red pepper soup- yum! I always use fresh though, and haven’t tried the jarred kind before- thanks for the brand tips! Can’t wait to try it out! Where did you get your food mill, and do you like the brand?

    Thanks!

    • myfoodstoragecookbook February 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      Great! I bought my food mill at Sur La Table but probably any good kitchen store would have it, OXO is a pretty common brand. I do like it, although it’s not something I use on a daily basis, it’s here solely as my “back up plan”. I’m reminded every time I use any of my manual tools how grateful I am for electricity :)

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  1. Create Your Own Food Storage Recipe Book - January 24, 2014

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