Pimiento Soup with Vermouth
Serves: About 4
The slightly bitter character of vermouth adds a layer of flavor complexity that enhances the pimientos dramatically. With a mere tablespoon of olive oil, this is an amazingly rich soup, reminiscent of classic tomato bisque but without the hassle. Very sexy. I recommend serving it in small teacups as a starter for an elegant dinner. If you don't like to use alcohol in your food, simply omit this ingredient and call it "Pimiento Soup," which will be an unusual, very tasty dish all the same.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Add to list
- 1 yellow or white onion, finely diced Add to list
- 9 cloves peeled garlic, finely chopped Add to list
- 1 1/2 cups (3 4-ounce jars) pimientos, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped Add to list
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes Add to list
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika Add to list
- 4 cups water Add to list
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt Add to list
- 1 small russet potato Add to list
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth, preferably Noilly Prat (optional) Add to list
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Add to list
- 1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives Add to list
Put the oil in a large soup pot over high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the pimientos, bouillon cubes and paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.
Peel the potato, and then grate it directly into the pot. Stir well. Decrease the heat to medium-high and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. The liquid should be reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.
Transfer the mixture to a blender and process until very smooth. (Be careful, as the hot mixture may want to blast out of the blender. Pulse a few times before turning the blender on fully.)
Return to the pot and reheat. When the soup is hot, add the vermouth and pepper and stir well. The consistency should be very creamy, but if the soup is too thick, add just a little water. Serve in small cups, with a sprinkling of the chives on top.
Recipe by, private chef and cookbook author
Source: Demonstrated on the PCC Cooks stage at Vegfest 2011.
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