Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Cashew Cream

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Its -8 Degrees outside and the most perfect day to have a hot bowl of soup for dinner with some homemade bread. Bell Peppers of any kind are my Husband’s favorite salad Vegetable. He absolutely loves them in any form, actually.

The first time I heard of Red Pepper soup was from a recipe I found in Madhur Jaffrey’s book- “World Vegetarian”.  While that recipe was okay, I thought I could try tweaking it and making it a little more spicy with a couple of Indian spices. Though the spices do add flavor, they do not take away from the sweetness of the Bell peppers, which makes this recipe a keeper.

Ingredients:

  1. Red Bell Peppers- 4, quartered
  2. Olive oil- 4 Tablespoons
  3. Celery- 2 Sticks, diced small
  4. 1 small red Onion- diced
  5. 2 carrots- Peeled and chopped
  6. Salt
  7. Black Pepper powder
  8. Tomato Paste- 1 Tablespoon
  9. Red wine Vinegar( Optional)- 1 Tablespoon( Substitute Lime Juice)
  10. Water

For the Cashew Cream: Grind all the ingredients below to make a thick cream.

  1. 1/4 cup of Cashews- Soaked in 1 Cup of boiled and cooled water for about an hour
  2. Cumin Powder- 1/2 Tsp
  3. Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 Tsp

Method:

Place the cut Bell peppers on a Silpat Sheet and drizzle with some olive oil. Place the sheet in a 400 Degree Fahrenheit oven for about 30 minutes, till the bell pepper skin starts getting dark and charred. Remove from the oven and cover with an Aluminum foil till the Bell pepper cools completely( About 10 minutes). The peel comes off easily when the bell peppers are cool. Peel all the bell pepper pieces, using a knife if necessary.

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In another pan, take 2 TBSP of Olive oil. Saute the onions till they are translucent, add the chopped celery and carrots and saute for a few more minutes. Add some salt and 2 cups of water. Cook the vegetables till they are soft. Add the roasted and peeled bell peppers. Puree the mixture in a blender and strain it though a sieve to make it smooth.

Add the Cashew cream to the soup and add a little more water if needed to adjust the thickness. Add the Tomato paste also. Check for Salt. Add some black pepper powder and the red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil and serve hot with Bread or croutons.

I have tried using store brought Vegetable broth in the past and did not really like the flavors it brought to the soup. This way, we could taste the sweetness of the Bell peppers and it just tasted much better.

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