When I first heard about someone writing a book on what people eat when alone, I initially thought they should just come to my blog! Most of my dishes are things I cook for myself, even ones that serve 6. I know some people hate leftovers, but I love them! It means I can eat something without much preparation and my favourite dishes are one-pot meals that taste better with age.
Soups and salads are great in this category as they improve with time. This is a very simple soup, with only 4 ingredients, but the results are beyond simple. Freshly roasted peppers are combines with sweet squash (butternut, buttercup, etc) with a flavourful stock and an onion, and you have a powerful soup. Season well with salt and pepper. The hardest part is roasting the red peppers, which I recommend over the jarred variety as they taste a lot better and it isn’t that difficult. You can roast more peppers to save for other dishes, as I do as well.
It was adapted from Saved by Soup by Judith Barret, which is a cookbook dedicated to simple healthy soups. Enjoy the soup with a crusty piece of bread or with a light main dish. I served this along with Creamy Polenta with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis as I just had to throw in an extra red pepper to be roasted, and its recipe will follow in the next post.
Roasted Red Pepper and Squash Soup
4 red peppers, cut in half lengthwise, cored and seeded
1-1/4 lb squash (buttercup, acorn, butternut, etc), peeled, seeded and cubed
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste (I even add pepper to the soup as it brings out a nice flavour)
1. Preheat the oven broiler. Line a small roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the pepper halves in the pan, cut side down, and place in the oven on the shelf closest to the broiler. Broil until the pepper skins are completely black, about 8-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, wrap the pepper in the foil and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and rub off the skins of the peppers. Slice the peppers into 1/2-inch-thick strips and set aside.
2. Combine the squash, onion and brother in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Partially cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the squash is tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 20 minutes. Add the pepper slices and cook for 5 minutes longer.
3. Blend soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.