As gardening season starts winding down, what I consider to be soup season is just starting to pick up in Northern Michigan. It might still be occasionally warm late in the day; however, the evenings and nights become chilly quickly. A bowl of warm soup with crusty bread always makes me feel happy at the end of a long day. This recipe is also fairly easy as the majority of the work is up to the crock pot making it very hands off.
When picking peppers you don’t want to use anything spicy. This soup packs so much flavor that you won’t miss the heat of spicy varieties. Bell peppers or poblanos work very well. These happen to be ajvarski sweet peppers which originated from Northern Macedonia. They are amazing grilled and have the most enticing aroma when cooking.
For the soup you will want to fully remove the seeds, veins and skins. The easiest way to remove the skins is to blister the peppers over a stove burner or a grill. Then place all the peppers in an airtight container for 10 minutes to allow the skin to moisten and start to separate. With this method the skins should easily slip off. You want to get the pepper’s skins as dark as possible. Not only does it help the skins slip off; it makes the flesh weep which brings out the sweetness of the pepper.
When combining everything in the crock pot don’t worry too much about the order it goes in or stirring it very frequently. The goal is to cook down the vegetables and infuse the spice flavors. Your blender will do the work of bringing all the flavors together. We topped ours with fresh goat cheese and cooked sausage. This soup would pair well with fresh chopped basil and a grilled cheese sandwich.
- 6 large sweet peppers – skins and seeds removed
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or your favorite soup base)
- 2 large carrots – peeled and chopped
- 1 large onion – diced
- 1 large head of garlic – crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: sausage and goat cheese for topping
- Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for six hours or high for two hours.
- Remove bay leaf and blend ingredients in a blender (or with an immersion blender) until smooth.
- Serve immediately topped with ground sausage and goat cheese. This pairs well with crusty artisan bread.