If you just want to make the darn soup skip ahead!
Sorry I am super behind in posting! About 10 recipes behind!!! Eek. Will try to bang them out in the next few days. The thing is…. I had a minor or major kitchen fail (depends on the scale) AKA I sliced off a rather nice chunk of finger (and nail)… and well typing is a bit challenging at the moment but at least the soreness has subsided so I can handle the constant correcting of typos… That could be nerve damage. Oops! Never look up while cutting. Stop cutting. Then look up. Got it. Tough to always be super focused in the kitchen with multiple munchkins running about the house. Mamas/cooks get distracted and/or need to check on things errr kids errr… and well yeah. Will be more careful with me fingers in the future! I’m lucky to have ’em! I am usually a multi-tasking hero but we all have our off days. Thankfully it wasn’t too horrific and we avoided a trip to the ER. Thanks Doctor Gramma for bandaging me up real nice!
Now whose hungry?!?!?! Ughhhhh. And it’s red soup. Yowza. Oh this is just super tasteful eh??? Sorry…. Think happy thoughts. Comforting, happy, soothing, warm thoughts…. SOUP! There we go.
Hopefully that segue made it all better?
SOUP SOUP SOUP
When I make this soup I really just want a giant grilled cheese to go with it. This particular soup and my home made Creamy Fresh Tomato soup, are, in my humble/not so humble opinion, the ultimate things (suboptimal word choice) to dip a grilled cheese into. Forget ketchup. Unless you have some artisan ketchup from Terra Breads in Vancouver. That stuff is pretty epic. But man. I love a good hot bowl of red soup to dip my cheesey melty toasty carbalicious… I am getting lost here.
Anyway. Sometimes I torture myself and don’t eat bread for a while. If I feel I have been too indulgent and am getting a little puffy around the edges I focus more on produce and protein. The P + P Energy Factory. Wow I am so cool. And old. And you probably don’t get my obscure reference so I will just quit while I am at it.
Anyway I needed some form of cheese to go with my hot soup since I was doing said bread ban at that particular moment. So I remembered this frico stuff. It’s kind of like those bits of cheese that fall out of the grilled cheese when you are cooking it in the pan. And it gets all crispy and greasy. And you secretly eat the bits out of the pan after you have finished your grilled cheese because somehow it wasn’t enough?!?! Well it’s basically that, but a lot of it, in a cracker shape. And you just eat that cheese like it’s not weird at all, and it’s called FRICO. So it’s a real thing and you don’t feel any shame about it. Not that I ever feel shame about food. I don’t actually. I joke about it but I am a happy eater! I love food and I love balance. If I feel good than great. If I don’t feel good I make a change! Simple!
Let’s get to the point.
OKAY FOR REAL SOUP SOUP SOUP SOUP SOUP
Soup: (amounts are approx.)
- butter for sauteeing (1-2 tablespoons)
- 1-2 onions rough chopped (I like sweet ones like Vidalia, Walla Walla or Spanish/Red/Purple)
- 3-5 cloves garlic whole (peeled though! just in case – haha)
- fresh or freeze dried basil (I don’t know…a bit? Maybe a teaspoon??)
- pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- red pepper jelly (1 teaspoon -1 tablespoon depending on level of sweetness/tang you want)
- one carton (1L) chicken stock (or veggie if you are vegetarian of course) – if you have homemade stock even better!
- a load of bell peppers – maybe 5-6 large or lots and lots of the little dolce ones (a mix of red, orange and yellow is nice, or all red. But use mostly red for best flavour and colour – try to get a few organic ones in there at least they tend to taste better)
- heavy cream to taste (maybe 1/3 cup… basically you want it to taste creamy but not like cream)
Cook down onions and garlic cloves in butter til getting golden. Toss in the peppers for a few minutes. Add in the basil, pepper jelly, salt and pepper. Pour in stock. Boil then turn to simmer til peppers are softened. Puree with hand blender. Drizzle in some cream. Blend some more.
Meanwhile back at the ranch…..
- cheese (not overly oily cheeses. Cheddar wouldn’t be so great for example. I used Jarlsberg, Emmenthaler and Parmesan as that is what I had on hand and they have the appropriate texture/meltiness)
- red pepper jelly
- pepper flakes
Put piles of shredded cheese on parchment. Dollop on some pepper jelly and shake on some pepper flakes.
Bake in a 350F (?? google frico if you like ha!) until melty and bubbly and golden-y.
Let them cool. It’s tough I know. It’s friggin’ mounds of melted cheese. But we do not want a double burned mouth. Hot soup and hot cheese is a recipe for disaster…. Recipe. Ha. Mom jokes. Sick burns. Ha. Mom scores again! Scores or strikes…. whatever…. Drink more red wine!
Oh and eat the soup in a bowl with a spoon.
Helpful tips from a pro! ;P