When the Sunday Slow Suppers group made Paella a couple of weeks ago, I needed to find piquillo peppers. My local market didn't have them, of course, (small town, you know how that is), so I went on Amazon and found them. Only trouble was that it was a five-pack.
So, then the task became deciding how to use the rest of the peppers. Found some recipes online, one of which was this Potato Piquillo Soup on the Food Network.
Bill saw the recipe on the kitchen counter and decided HE was going to make the soup. Yeah Bill! And it turned out to be super-delicious. The piquillo cream that tops the soup was really yummy - I think it could be used to enhance a lot of different dishes.
Potato Piquillo Soup
c.1996, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 can Piquillo peppers
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 3 cups chicken stock
* 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes or 68 small red new potatoes, unpeeled, chopped
* 1/2 cup Crema, creme fraiche or sour cream
* 1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese (Bill used smoked gouda)
* 1/2 cup whipping cream
In a heavy Dutch oven or stockpot, melt butter over moderate heat and saute the onions, half of the piquillo peppers, and salt and pepper until the onions turn a light golden color, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook briefly just to release the aroma, 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock, add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. Puree in a food processor or blender just until smooth, being careful not to overprocess. Overworking will result in a gummy soup. Return to the pot, stir in the crema or creme fraiche or sour cream and bring just to a boil. Julienne half of the remaining piquillos and stir into the soup.
Puree the remaining piquillos in a mini processor and put in a bowl. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and gently fold in the pureed piquillos and the cheese.
Divide hot soup into bowls, top each with a dollop of the piquillo cream and serve.
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1/4 cup buttermilk
Whisk the cream and buttermilk together. Cover and set in a warm place (a gas oven with just the heat from the pilot light is fine) for 8 hours. Crema may be kept in the refrigerator as long as a week.
Yield: 2 cups