• Gary Corcoran

Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pears and Stilton

This is a great soup for a special occasion: it's not your normal soup so prepared for the accolades. Try to enlist some help roasting and peeling the peppers. It is also great to portion off and freeze as a basic roasted red pepper soup (without the pear or Stilton) for future dinners or lunches. If you are a vegetarian, replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.

Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pears and Stilton

Serves: 8


6 red peppers

1 t olive oil

3 medium onions, finely chopped

1 stick butter (approximately 8 T)

6 T flour

1 t paprika (preferably smoked paprika)

¼ t cayenne pepper

1 cup white wine

6 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock, divided

½ t fish sauce

2 cups fresh or bottled pears, chopped into ½-in. pieces

8 oz. (or more if you like) Stilton cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper to taste (white pepper, preferably)

To begin, roast whole red peppers, rubbing them with a little olive oil and roasted over an open flame, high heat on a BBQ or under a broiler in oven, turning often until skin is completely black.

Remove from heat and put them in a bowl, cover in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes to ½ hour. This allows the peppers to cool and the steam helps the skin to come off easier. (Alternatively, use store-bought roasted red peppers, rinsed very well.)

Meanwhile, sauté onions in butter for about 10 minutes in heavy-bottom stockpot on medium heat, stirring occasionally until onions have softened and started to brown. Add flour, paprika and cayenne to pot and cook for about two minutes stirring constantly without the flour browning. Slowly whisk in the wine followed by 1 cup of chicken stock.

When fully incorporated into the flour and onion mixture, stir in remaining stock and fish sauce. Bring to a light boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Remove all the black and blistered skin from the red peppers and be sure to remove the seeds and membranes from inside.

DO NOT wash the red peppers with water. Coarsely chop peppers. Add to stockpot along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl and blend into a creamy soup using a handheld immersion blender.

Otherwise, working in small batches, add to a blender, being careful of hot liquid, and blend to incorporate all ingredients into a smooth, creamy soup. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Don’t worry if a few tiny bits of black skin stay on the peppers. After all, it’s a fire-roasted red pepper soup.

Soup is now ready to be served or can be kept on a very low heat until ready to serve. Likewise, soup can be chilled and reheated on very low heat the next day, stirring occasionally.

To serve, pour about 1 cup of hot soup into each bowl, add ¼ cup of pears and top with the crumbled Stilton.

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