Spanish-Inspired Roasted Red Pepper & Cauliflower Soup
Full disclosure: I have never actually been to Spain. BUT, half of my husband's family is from there and he was actually born there. So, by association....I feel somewhat qualified to post this recipe. I've been eating my mother-in-law's Spanish cooking for over 10 years and I dream of the day when I can meet his family and enjoy the authentic flavors of the country.
In the meantime, I created this recipe. I was inspired by a very similar recipe from The Busy Baker and I highly encourage you check her out. I loved the simplicity and ease of her recipe, which totally lends itself to Spanish cooking. Spanish cooks take a 'less is more' approach to cooking, creating some of the most delicious food on the planet grounded in high-quality ingredients and simplicity.
Did you know that bell peppers contain up to six times more vitamin C than oranges? They are also packed with vitamin A and beta carotene which can boost the immune system, improve vision, and help protect the eyes from cataracts. They are also an excellent source of potassium, fiber, thiamine, folate, and lycopene and have been shown to help prevent blood clots and reduce the risks of heart attacks and strokes.
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil, divided
5 red bell peppers, stems, core, and seeds removed
1 head of cauliflower
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp Greek oregano
1 Bay leaf
6 cups of vegetable stock
3/4 tsp of fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower florets and red bell peppers on the baking sheet, along with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Once the peppers and cauliflower are cooked, remove from the oven and heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and once its shimmering, add the chopped onion. Stir and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion softens. Add the garlic, paprika, and oregano, stir and cook for another minute.
Add the cooked cauliflower and red bell peppers to pot, along with the vegetable stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer. Partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove from heat and add the salt and black pepper. You can allow it to cool slightly or VERY CAREFULLY puree the soup with an immersion blender, or blend in batches with a high speed blender.
Once pureed, re-heat the soup on low heat and serve piping hot with fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, or coconut cream. Enjoy while daydreaming about the views from your Spanish villa.