Fire Roasted Red Pepper Bisque is a hearty, delicious soup that can be served year round. It is a versatile bisque that can be a good vegetarian or vegan option. For those wanting a different flavor, beef or chicken stock can be substituted. (Just be careful not to add too much stock otherwise you would have to thicken it with roux or cornstarch.)
A garnish of Parmesan crisps and/or a nice Sonoma Jack Cheese will enhance the flavor and make this a beautifully rich soup. In my restaurant days, I added diced smoked shrimp which is particularly good and has a certain savory umami. For the vegan option, substitute the cream with coconut milk and eliminate the cheese garnish.
I made this bisque for one of my wife’s book clubs along with finger sandwiches, cut fruit, chips and a walnut apple cake. Traditionally her book group offers a choice of champagne (mimosa’s), wine or sparkling water. At this event we also offered basil-lemon-strawberry infused water which was a refreshing accompaniment to the winter flavor of the bisque.
Fire Roasted Red Pepper Bisque
- 2 onions diced
- 4 celery stalks diced
- 7-8 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 10 roasted red peppers skins, seeds removed
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp thyme
- 1 1/2 Tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 8 oz can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp Tabasco style hot sauce
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Pinch of Sugar optional
You will need two large pots. (One to cook the vegetables and stock, and one to transfer the pureed soup into after you have run it through a blender.)
Dice the onions, celery and mince the garlic.
Heat up the olive oil in the first pot till just smoking. Add the onions, celery and garlic and stir often. Once the onion/celery/garlic mixture is translucent, deglaze with white wine.
Stir the vegetables often for about 2-3 minutes. Add the roasted and cleaned red peppers, the stock, thyme, parsley and tomato paste. Stir the soup until thoroughly mixed.
Carefully ladle the soup into a blender. (Depending on the size of your blender, this may take a few batches to puree.) Without over loading your blender, puree the soup till very smooth, about 2 minutes.
Pour the pureed soup into the second pot until all of the vegetable mixture has been processed. (You can pour the soup through a fine sieve to remove any larger pieces, but in this case I did not because l like this soup a bit more rustic and hearty.)
Bring the soup back up to temperature and add the remaining ingredients.
Heat the soup between 140-160 degrees. Do not boil the soup or it will break the cream. If you do take it too high and it boils you can fix this by whisking in a little additional cream.
*The setting in this photo was done by my wife. The napkins should be set on the left (or in some cases on the plate), not the right side. This is something she has admitted to struggling with her entire life. (Her mother attests to this fact.)