Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sunshine Soup

I absolutely love Nigella Lawson. She's wonderfully talented and poised and one of the most charismatic and inviting celebrity chefs out there. When I picked up her latest book, Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home, I found myself wanting to bookmark nearly every recipe, with this one being the first of a long list of recipes I plan to make.

And what a fantastic start! This soup is so simple and tastes like a burst of summer, most welcome on a cold, snowy winter night, although it would be even more incredible in the summer with fresh sweet corn and peppers from the farmer's market. This soup also has a delightfully rustic texture and makes for a satisfying dinner for two with a crusty roll or side salad (or both, if you're feeling particularly ravenous). As written, it is beautifully sweet and mild, but if you'd like to give it a bit more kick, substitute chili-flavored oil for the garlic-flavored oil and add a bit of cayenne, habanero, or chipotle pepper when adjusting the final seasoning.

Sunshine Soup
from Nigella Kitchen
serves 4 as a starter, or 2 as supper in its entirety

1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
2 teaspoons garlic flavored oil
1 quart vegetable or chicken broth (good-quality canned, carton, or cube), preferably organic
1 pound (3.5 cups) frozen corn
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and cover a smallish lipped baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Remove the core, seeds, and white membrane from the bell peppers, then cut the peppers into strips and place on the prepared baking sheet shiny-side down. Sprinkle them with the oil and smoosh them about so that all the sides are a little covered by oil, then leave them, shiny-skin-side up this time. Roast them in the oven for 25 minutes.

3. Pour the vegetable broth into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the frozen corn, bring back to boil, reduce the heat, cover, and let bubble for about 20 minutes.

4. Using a perforated spoon, remove about 1 cup of corn, and set to one side while you blend the rest of the corn along with all its cooking liquid and blistered bell peppers, then toss the set-aside corn niblets back into the blended, but not too smooth, soup, and season to taste.

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