Hungarian Pepper Bisque Soup

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Now this has some spice!  It wasn’t that long ago that I was at the Taste of Buffalo where I tried, for the first time, Hungarian Stuffed Pepper Soup.  It was good enough that I visited the restaurant and had a bowl of it for lunch.  It was full-flavored, rich, smooth, but not thick and gloppy like so many soups are served up elsewhere.

Let’s fast forward to the Williamsville Farmers’ Market at the Mill this morning.  There were these beautiful Hungarian peppers, and I thought back to that wonderful soup.  Could I do anything like it?  Some of the peppers made their way into my vegetable purchase, and from there, they eventually made their way into my Vitamix.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Hungarian peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped (if you like heat, add 3!)
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon of freshly chopped Basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons of freshly chopped Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon of freshly chopped Parsley
  • 1-1/2 cups of grated Romano cheese
  • 4 to 8 oz. of cream cheese (not whipped cream cheese)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • smoked paprika
  • shredded smoked chicken (optional)

Heat the olive oil over medium in a fry pan.  Add the onions and the garlic, and lower the heat to low.  Saute for two minutes and then add the green bell pepper and the Hungarian peppers.  Continue to saute until the vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.

In a 64 oz. Vitamix container, place the chicken broth, basil, oregano, and parsley.  Add on top of this the sauteed vegetable mixture, the Romano cheese, and the cream cheese.  Note that I try it first with four ounces, and then add more if it needs it to “contain the heat”. Secure the lid on the Vitamix and set the Variable Speed to 1.  Start the Vitamix and gradually turn the speed up to 10.  Let run for six minutes at this speed until hot.

Taste the soup, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Be sure to secure the lid afterwards, then blend on Variable Speed 1 for 20 seconds to combine.

This soup is lovely, smooth, and rich.  I like to ladle it into a mug, topping it with a sprinkle of smoked paprika.  If you want a heartier dish, place some warm, shredded smoked chicken in your bowl first, then ladle soup over it.  Heavenly!

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

This is not a wimpy, thin tortilla soup.  The texture is thick and rich, with a complexity created by four different types of peppers.  The roasting of the poblano and bell peppers gives a slightly smokey flavor to the dish, making you want to come back for seconds.

  • 1 to 2 poblano peppers (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons of virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper (depending on how spicy you want it), cut in half, seeds and stem removed
  • 1 15-oz can of roasted tomatoes, or three freshly-roasted tomatoes (if you use fresh, make sure that they are naturally ripe in-season)
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Penzy’s Adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 4-oz can green chilies
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ears of corn

Toppings (optional)

  • black olives, pits removed and chopped (I used the canned variety)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • 1 broiled skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 small bag blue tortilla chips, broken up
  • minced fresh Cilantro
  1. Pre-heat the oven broiler.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Wash and dry the poblano peppers and the red pepper.  Place these on the baking sheet, and set under the broiler.  Broil, turning occasionally, until all sides are blackened.  Remove from the oven, and place the peppers into a glass bowl, covering with a plate.  Leave these to “sweat” for a bit.
  2. Peel both the red and yellow onions, as well as the garlic cloves.  Quarter the onions, and place both the onions and the garlic in a 64 oz. Vitamix container.  Set speed to Variable 1, and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion and garlic mixture to this, reduce the heat to low, and saute until the onions are golden.  Remove from heat.
  4. Return to the (hopefully) cooling poblano peppers and bell pepper.  Sloth the majority of the loose skin off, then slice open, removing the stem, core and the seeds.
  5. Add to the 64 oz. Vitamix container the chicken stock, jalapeno pepper, roasted tomatoes, celery, chili powder, Adobo, cumin, smoked paprika and green chilies.   Add the poblano peppers, bell pepper, and onion mixture.  Don’t wash that soup pot yet!
  6. Secure the lid on the Vitamix, and set the Variable Speed to 1.  Start the Vitamix, gradually increasing the speed until you reach 10.  Run this for six to seven minutes at Variable 10.
  7. Once the soup base mixture is hot, it’s a great time to check the salt level of your soup.  Taste the thick broth, adding sea salt to taste.  Replace the lid, and run at Variable 1 for 20 seconds to blend.
  8. Husk the corn, and cut the kernels from the cob.  Rinse the beans well.  Set aside the corn and the beans.
  9. Pour the soup base mixture into the large soup pot.  This will de-glaze all that lovely caramelization left behind from the onions, adding more flavor to your soup.   Add the corn and beans to the mixture, stirring over low heat until the corn and beans are heated through.

For serving, ladle into bowls and garnish with your choice of sliced avocado, shredded chicken, grated Cheddar cheese, sour cream, blue corn chips, black olives, and fresh cilantro.  Note: If you are “shy” of spicy soups, be sure to try yours with cheddar cheese and sour cream.  It mellows it right out!