Broccoli and Red Pepper Soup
When I first made this soup, I intended to use the puréed roasted red pepper just as a garnish. But I liked the flavor combination so much, I added most of the purée to the soup itself and reserved some for a visually appealing swirled garnish.
⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
¾ cup apricot juice
½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
½ tsp. umeboshi vinegar
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon for garnish
½ tsp. dried thyme
2 lbs. broccoli
⅓ cup unbleached white rice (preferably sushi or white basmati)
1 ½ tsp. sea salt
2 qts. plus 2 Tbs. vegetable stock
1 ½ lbs. red bell peppers (about 3 medium )
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried tarragon
- Trim broccoli, peel and chop stems and reserve florets. In large pot, combine broccoli stems, rice, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 2 quarts vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add florets and simmer 20 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, roast bell peppers over an open flame or broil, turning with tongs until charred all over, about 10 minutes. Put peppers in brown paper bag for 10 minutes to sweat them. Remove loosened charred skins.
- Chop peppers, place in blender or food processor and process until puréed. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 2 tablespoons stock to liquefy. (This should yield about 1 1/2 cups.)
- In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, tarragon, thyme and cayenne. Remove from heat and add to pot with broccoli mixture; simmer 10 minutes.
- In blender or food processor, process soup, in batches if necessary, until puréed. Return soup to pot and stir in 1 cup of red pepper purée. Reserve remaining pepper purée for garnish. Season soup with 1/2 teaspoon salt, white pepper, apple cider vinegar, umeboshi vinegar and lemon juice.
- To serve, ladle broccoli soup into serving bowls. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of red pepper purée over each serving and swirl with chop stick. Garnish with fresh minced tarragon, if desired.