This Roasted Red Pepper and Fennel Soup was inspired by memories of visits to one of my favourite Alberta road trip gems called Broxburn Vegetables and Cafe in Lethbridge. Owned by Food Artisans of Alberta Paul and Hilda de Jonge, the cafe opened in 2004 and their Red Pepper Soup with Fennel Crème Fraîche has been a favourite ever since.
Whenever I see stacks of bright red peppers piled high at the farmers’ market in summer I crave this soup. While mine is not exactly the same at the de Jonge’s, it will definitely keep me satisfied until I can visit their beautiful farm and cafe again.
If you are in the Lethbridge area this summer, check out their strawberry and raspberry U-Pick. The ever-bearing strawberries will keep going until the first frost in September or even October sometimes. One last tip: If you like cold soups a.k.a. gazpachos, you could enjoy this chilled as well.Print
Roasted Red Pepper and Fennel Soup
Roasting the peppers before adding them to the soup pot lends a smoky depth of flavour to this soup.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Soups
- Method: grilling
- Cuisine: Canadian
6 red peppers
1 fennel bulb, cut in sections (reserve the fennel fronds)
3 small new onions, bottom roots and green tops removed
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
½ cup half and half cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a grill to high and roast the bell peppers, fennel bulb sections and onions until charred on all sides. This took me between 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the fennel and onions to a rack and place the peppers in a thick brown paper bag, fold it closed and wait about 10 minutes to allow the flesh and skin on the peppers to seperate.
Remove the peppers and peel the skin and remove the seeds from the inside and set aside. Tip: it helps to have some running water to get the all the seeds out.
Heat the oil and butter in a soup pot over medium heat and add the fennel seeds and cook until golden and fragrant.
Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding the stock, peppers, fennel and onions.
Bring to a boil then transfer to a power blender like a VitaMix and blend until smooth.
Return the pureed mixture to the soup pot and stir in the cream and return to heat on a simmer.
Season with salt and pepper, garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.
Enjoy hot or cold as an appetizer or with a grilled cheese for a hearty lunch or supper.
Keywords: roasted red pepper soup