Wednesday, October 12, 2011


The end of the growing season is a great time to visit Walker's Roadside Stand in Little Compton (261 West Main Road, Little Compton, RI  401-635-4719 ). You arrive intending to buy a single head of lettuce and depart with a $5.00 bargain box of peppers or a $10.00 crate of tomatoes, or both. Labeled irregular, the peppers and tomatoes were mostly perfect yesterday.

Last fall all the red (or mostly red, or orange, or purple) peppers became red pepper soup, a soup so satisfying it deserved a repeat.

Red Pepper Soup (New York Times - 2005 as altered)
2 tbls olive oil
3 1/4 cups sliced onions
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup dry white wine
12 large red (or mostly red) peppers in one inch pieces
2 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
up to 2 tbls chopped fresh thyme
1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
for garnish: thyme sprigs and a tiny dollop of creme fraiche, cream or sour cream

1. Warm oil in a large pot and add onions, cooking until they begin to soften and color. Add garlic and cook one minute before adding wine. Cook down quickly until there is about one tablespoon of liquid.

2. Add peppers, stock, thyme and red pepper flakes, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.

3. In a food processor or using a stick blender, puree soup (in batches if you are using a processor) until smooth. Taste again for seasoning. Cover and chill overnight (up to two days per the Times but we didn't wait that long). Or freeze - whisk when thawed. You can warm it but it seems perfect cold.

4. Serve in small cups with creme fraiche and a sprig of thyme. Of course you can put the soup in any bowl or cup you have but for the best effect, I'd go with white.

 Go soon. Walker's is open every day but will close by the end of the month.

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