A soup to delight the senses, this derives its stunning colour from red capsicums and its heady aroma and fruity flavour from orange flower water and freshly squeezed orange juice.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 kg red capsicums
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
To garnish: orange rind, chopped parsley or croutons, optional
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Directions Preparation:30min › Ready in:30min
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Seed and quarter the capsicums lengthways. Slice them fairly coarsely in a food processor and add to the oil. Alternatively, slice by hand, adding the first capsicum to the pan while you slice the next, stirring with each addition and keeping the pan covered while you slice. Add a little salt to taste.
Grate the rind from one of the oranges into the pan. Cover and increase the heat to high until steam starts to escape from under the lid. Lower the heat and simmer, covering the pan again, for 15–18 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally and allowing the capsicums to cook in their own juice. Meanwhile, squeeze the juice from all the oranges into a small measuring jug: you will need 3/4 cup.
When the capsicums are soft, process or blend to a smooth purée. It does not matter if some of them seem to have caramelised – this just adds to the richness of the flavour. Add the orange juice and the vegetable or chicken stock and process or blend again.
Reheat and garnish with orange rind, herbs or croutons, if using.
NUTRIENTS PER SERVING:
good source of vitamins A, B group, C and E.
If you like a strong orange flavour, add 1–2 teaspoons orange flower water, from delicatessens and Middle Eastern food shops. Check that it can be used for cooking – orange flower water sold as a beauty product is not suitable.