*And by “day” I mean several days. Two different batches in one week. Obsessed.
So I’m kind of predictable in some ways, especially when I have a new treasure. I will get way way WAY under it to the point of exhaustion (for me and for Treasure) and then get way over it, moving on to something else that’s shiny. New jeans: Wear them out in 3 months. New t-shirt: Dingy in 2 weeks flat. New shoes: We shouldn’t talk about it.
So when I roasted some peppers– Shameful True Confession Alert: for the first time ever– the other night, I was pretty much instantly hooked. They emerged from the oven blistered and moody, skins shriveling the moment they so much as caught a waft of 70-degree air. I sat them in a bowl, covered the bowl with a towel, and watched the first bit of Waiting for Guffman (Dear Netflix: If I never leave my house this winter, I plan to blame you). Came back to the bowl to peel and seed my now-thoroughly-defeated peppers, which slid, goopy and pouty, onto my cutting board– like the kid in the cereal aisle lying on the floor doing the “I have no bones in my body” trick when informed that Count Chocula is not invited into the cart (see also: me at age 5).
After eating almost a whole roasted pepper with just my fingers– hey: I said almost— I realized that I needed to put the rest of them to a worthy, yet sustainable (read: probably freezable. I was leaving town in 3 days) use.
Answer: SOUP. (Obvi.)
So here’s what I did.
- Diced a yellow onion. Nothing too fine/fancy– just as small as you’re able to manage before blinding yourself with onion-tears.
- Also sliced up a couple shallots, some garlic. They were around.
- Let those things sit around in some olive oil in a big pot for what felt like waaaay too long– but in the teasing, low-flame way that means the onions are turning into somethingvery sexy.
- Poured in the juice from the roasted peppers. It was just sitting in the bowl, smelling great. I couldn’t toss it. It ended up deglazing the pot a little bit and pulling up some garlicky bits, which pleased me. (Dear pepper juice: You are more than just a pretty face.)
- Chopped up the roasted peppers, which had been peeled and seeded. (This is really easy to do once they’ve steamed themselves into a coma under that towel in the bowl. The skins should just peel right off, and the stem usually helps pull out most of the seeds. You can cut it open and just scrape out the rest.) Added them– AND a hearty sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
- Let all that cook down for another few minutes.
- Added a big can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes and the juice. I squished the tomatoes in my fist before dropping them into the pot. It was… satisfying.
- Added some chicken stock and water (I didn’t want it to taste too chicken-y. Just rich.)
- Busted out my immersion blender, or what Rosellen likes to call “the outboard motor.” Pureed the bejeesus out of it.
- Added a parmigiano heel. (If you’re not in the habit of saving these– or buying for-real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese– you should. They add a certain je ne sais quoi to stuff that you might simmer for a while: soup, pasta sauce, etc. The heat breaks down the proteins in the rind and it almost fortifies the soup, in a way.)
- Simmered all of that for, uh… as long as it took to finish Waiting for Guffman.
- Took out the heel, added some half & half.
- Died of happiness.
Okay, except not really on that last part. Because if I did I wouldn’t have MADE IT AGAIN 2 NIGHTS LATER. Yeah, I know– I said I was leaving town. But apparently not before I made another batch, this time with some adorable, bright red-orange Cubanelles I found at the farmer’s market last weekend. I put it all (or… all-minus-one-substantial bowlful) into the freezer to stumble upon, all hidden-treasure-like, in the bleak midwinter.
(Photo credit: my MacBook’s PhotoBooth function. Shoddy? Maybe. But is it the thought that counts? Yep.)