These days on Fridays I love to come home from work, relax, and cook an easy, fresh, summery dinner for myself and Zoeya. Shan closes the restaurant on Friday, so I don’t worry about him turning his nose up at a grazing menu heavy on veggies and without an obvious entree (which, incidentally, is my favorite way to eat). This soup was simple and delightful, with a dollop of flavorful pesto made from fresh basil from my herb garden. You can make this with whatever nuts you have, but the cashews worked really nicely. They are similar in texture to pine nuts, and cheaper.
The soup was part of our Friday spread…
…to which Zoeya invited her baby…
…and then slurped up her bowl of soup, telling Mommy it was delicious. The best compliment is having your food approved by a picky 2.5 year old.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Cashew Pesto
makes four bowls, can easily be doubled
For the soup
3 red peppers
2 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
salt & pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 cups chicken broth
Roast the red peppers at 475 in the oven, straight on the rack. Turn once and roast until they are charred. Move to a glass bowl and cover with saran wrap and let them steam and cool for a little bit. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat butter on medium high (not too high or it will burn), and cook the shallots and garlic, salt and pepper. When shallots are translucent, add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the charred skin, scrape out the seeds, and slice. Transfer peppers and the broth, shallots, and garlic to a blender and puree. Return to saucepan and warm through.
For the pesto
1/2 c cashews
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 c basil leaves (loosely packed), roughly chopped
1/4 c olive oil
generous spritz lemon juice
salt & pepper
In a food processor, pulse cashews and garlic a few time. Add basil, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to a chunky paste. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve soup steaming, spoon a little pesto into the center, and enjoy.