Red peppers are available year-round and are often overlooked in soup making. Grilling or charring red peppers in your broiler will give them a smoky flavor that perfectly accompanies a hearty sausage garnish.
Four large red bell peppers (Reserve one to add at end if bisque is too thin), two to three peeled shallots, half cup of extra virgin olive oil, one clove of garlic, four to five cups of stock (vegetable, chicken-homemade or store bought), Smoked Spanish, paprika (also known as Pimentón), a high quality smoked chorizo or linguiça. If your want to finish your bisque with a dairy product or substitute, use a pint of half and half on hand or a soy substitute. Chopped fresh Cilantro is optional for garnish.
Grill these red peppers outdoors or use your indoor grill or broiler.
Begin by rinsing your fresh red peppers whole and pat dry. Place peppers onto your grilling surface and turn every two to three minutes so that entire pepper is charred. Because the pepper is whole while grilling, it will appear to shrivel a and cave in a bit.
Remove peppers from the grill or broiler with tongs and place in Ziploc bag. This will sweat the skin and enable you to pull the charred skin away from the meat of the pepper. Also “devein” your peppers by removing the seeds and stem remnants from inside the pepper. Once all the peppers are clean, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare to sauté your strips of Chorizo to a crisp. Begin by slicing your hard sausage thinly and julienne into strips. Place a plate or tray with paper towels to absorb excess oil from strips of sausage to maintain the texture of your garnish. Heat sauté pan on high. Once pan is hot, decrease heat to medium and add one tablespoon of olive oil. As soon as you add the sausage it will brown immediately therefore be ready to remove from heat at once. Remove strips from pan with tongs and reserve the drippings for garnish drizzle.
Sauté shallots until golden brown and add to peppers that you grilled earlier and set aside. Assemble your equipment near your blender (saucepan, ladle, stock, salt, smoked paprika, half and half for finishing). Add pepper-shallot mixture in three parts (one pepper to one cup of broth depending on size of pepper). Add the last of the pepper-shallot mixture without stock and blend thoroughly together with a quarter teaspoon of smoked paprika. Blending this last batch of peppers without the stock will enable you to look at the consistency of your mixture. The consistency should be medium and you may want to add more stock if too thick or more pepper mixture if too thin. Also take into account that you will finish the soup with a drizzle of dairy that should not be added until ready to heat and serve. Serves 4
Heat your soup until it is bubbling on the sides, and then stir. Then add dairy or dairy substitution and stir for approximately 2 to 3 minutes as texture of soup appears creamy but light. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with chopped Cilantro. Place sausage julienne in center of bowl and use teaspoon to drizzle sausage drippings. Serve with crostini and a cheese selection for a light meal autumn meal.