It’s fall, which in my kitchen means the start of soup season. My kids’ favorite soup is the roasted red pepper soup that’s served at Pekara, one of the coziest cafes in town, so we decided to try it on the Sun Bucket.
The Sun Bucket started at 619 °F (326 C).
I often roast peppers using my gas grill. And because you can use a Sun Bucket to cook anything that you can on a grill or stove top, I lathered up four red bell peppers with olive oil and put them in my grill pan. (The grill pan, as it turns out, was not the best choice here — the peppers were thoroughly roasted, but I only got charred skin where the pepper actually touched the grooves on the pan. A heavy bottomed pan would have been better. Next time.) I kept the peppers loosely covered with aluminum foil while they roasted, turning every few minutes.
In 30 minutes, the peppers were ready. They had softened and were starting to fall in on themselves, and the skin was blackened and beginning to peel off. The four peppers were put in a bowl and tightly covered with plastic wrap to finish, while the rest of the soup ingredients got underway.
The base of every roasted red pepper soup recipe that I read (and my search history is full of them) was more or less the same. Start with onions, carrots, celery, and a lot of garlic softened in butter. Add chicken stock, the peeled red peppers, and seasonings. Simmer for awhile, then blend, and add cream. The seasonings were the only part that significantly varied from recipe to recipe – everything from dried basil to garam masala to cayenne pepper. I decided on a sprig of rosemary, a smoked gouda rind, a big pinch of red pepper flakes, a dash of nutmeg, and lots of salt and pepper.
The Sun Bucket was in use for over an hour tonight and cooked 1.7 kg of soup (and toasted baguette slices for dunking). The total caloric content of the soup was approximately 700 calories.