This recipe comes from Curtis Wooten and Julian Turner of Avalon International Breads in Detroit. I came upon this lovely vegan soup (served by Avalon with an olive tapenade crostini) at “Live Love Local,” a fabulous and delicious local food fundraising event held by the Greening of Detroit back in August at Eastern Market. If you have a chance to attend 2013’s Live Love Local, I highly recommend it! Here’s a story on Live Love Local 2012. It was also pretty exciting that local Washtenaw County farmers Tomm and Trilby Becker of Sunseed Farm won “Young Farmer of the Year”, from EdibleWOW and the Greening.
But back to that soup recipe, which I’ve adapted to make with the Locavorious frozen sweet peppers….here’s all you need, plus a little time:
12 oz Locavorious frozen red peppers
1 small fennel bulb, stalks removed, chopped into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t coarse salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh basil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss together bell peppers, fennel, ~ 1 1/2 T olive oil, 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. roast about 34 minutes or until vegetables are golden brown; set aside. Heat 1 1/2 T olive oil in a stockpot. Add onion and garlic; saute until soft. Add roasted peppers and fennel, balsamic vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer and cook for 40 minutes or more. Stir in parsley and basil. Puree soup until smooth with an immersion blender or stand blender.
Garnish with a little fresh parsley. Serve with grilled Avalon sourdough baguettes brushed with olive oil and topped with olive tapenade.
For the olive tapenade, combine 1/4 cup green olives, 2 T olive oil, 2 T Parmesan cheese, 1 T capers, 1 1/2 T sliced almonds, 1 glove of garlic, 1/8 t black pepper, a dash of salt and ~ 1 T orange zest in a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined, leaving some texture.