I’ve been watching Cheers. All of it. I’m doing this because I love Frasier.
Let me clarify.
I don’t love Frasier. Frasier’s terrible. Wait let me clarify further. The show is phenomenal – the character, as a person, is the worst. Not actually the worst. Listen you’ve seen Frasier. (If you haven’t, wtf?)
I decided a few years ago to be honest with myself and embrace the 19% of me that IS Frasier Crane.
It’s just the truth.
When I’m Fraisering my husband and/or closest friends all get quiet. They smirk.
“What?” I say.
They sway their hand like May West and say ‘Hi, Bougie Maddie.”
It’s like my “NORM!”
This is caused when I say things like “Really the only place to eat scallops is right next to the Ocean.” or “I don’t do public pools.”
Anyway. There’s this episode of Cheers where Woody is trying to win a bartender’s contest by creating a new drink. Sam says something like, “you can’t make a new drink – every combination has already been thought of.”
And he said this as I was prepping to make this Roasted Red Pepper Soup.
And I guess it just sort of struck me. Like, this is one of hundreds, maybe thousands of Roasted Red Pepper Soup recipes you could find on the internet right now. The combination has been thought of.
But think about all the little tiny things people can change here or there to make the thing that was already thought of something new.
Now apply that to stuff other than booze and food.
Croutons, Crumbs, & Crostinis
Crunchy bread rules.
And topping a simple soup with a nice crunchy bread pairing is delightful. And topping the crunchy bread with something a little creamy is even more delightful.
The way I do this is by getting some hearty bread. Italian or some kind of county loaf that is airy and has a nice structure. Cut it into whatever shape you want to top your soup with if need be. If the loaf is small enough or your bowl is big enough you might just have to do some slicing.
I slice it pretty thin, brush it with nice olive oil, sprinkle it with salt and fresh cracked pepper, and bake it at 350 until it’s a good color. I’d say around 10 minutes maybe? Usually, I just keep peaking while I’m doing the other dinner stuff.
Cool ’em down on a paper bag if you’ve got one. The bag will absorb some of the excess oil and leave the crunchy bread crispy and ready to soak up soupy goodness.
As far as the creamy component, Boursin cheese or even goat cheese would pair nicely with this soup. Any sort of spreadable, lightly flavored, creamy thing would work well. I’ve done both Boursin and goat cheese with this recipe. And I’ve liked both. You could probably even do a nice sturdy hummus and be happy if you wanna forego the cheese. Dream big.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- 1 C Chicken Stock
- 1 C jarred (or prepared) Roasted Red Bell Pepper, rinsed
- 3/4 C fresh orange juice
- 1/4 C Dry Sherry
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt & Pepper
- Sitrrin’ spoon
- In a blender, combine the stock, peppers, orange juice, sherry, vinegar, and garlic. Pulse until smooth. (Really have at it)
- OPTIONAL: You CAN run the mixture through a strainer. It’s up to you. If you like a little texture, it’s totally not necessary. If you’re looking for a totally smooth soup, go for it.
- Transfer soup to a medium saucepan and bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally.
- Season to taste with salt & freshly cracked pepper.
- Ladle into 2 pretty bowls, top with your crunchy bread bits, and allow the bread to soak a bit before digging in. You’ll be glad you did.