Roasted garlic and red pepper soup
- 2 whole garlic bulbs
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 large red sweet peppers
- 1/3 cup firmly packed stemmed fresh parsley sprigs
- 1/3 cup firmly packed stemmed fresh basil leaves
- 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and chopped*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Bottled hot pepper sauce
- 1 32 ounce carton chicken broth
- 1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream
- Shredded fresh basil (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut off the top 1/2 inch of the garlic bulbs to expose ends of individual cloves. Leaving garlic bulbs whole, remove any loose, papery outer layers. Place bulbs, cut ends up, and onion in a small baking dish. Sprinkle with rosemary; drizzle with oil. Quarter sweet peppers lengthwise; remove stems, seeds, and membranes. Place peppers, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast garlic, onion, and sweet peppers for 20 to 25 minutes or until garlic feels soft when squeezed and peppers are charred and very tender.
2. Bring foil up around peppers and fold edges together to enclose. Let stand about 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, loosen edges of skins; gently pull off skins in strips and discard. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic paste from individual cloves. Discard skins.
3. In a blender or food processor combine garlic paste, onion, sweet peppers, parsley, basil leaves, jalapeno pepper, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth. Add 1 cup of the broth; cover and blend or process until smooth.
4. Stir in the remaining broth and the half-and-half. If desired, garnish with shredded basil.