RECIPE AND PAIRING: RED PEPPER BISQUE
From The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing, page 154
recipe from Colleen Bos of Bos Meadery, Madison, Wisconsin
Gluten free and super easy.
4 large red bell peppers
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (more or less to taste)
Sea salt (to taste)
About 2/3 cup crème fraîche, for garnish
2 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ROASTING THE RED PEPPERS:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
2. Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the hot oven for 30 to 40 minutes, turning twice during roasting, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
3. Remove the stem from each pepper, and cut each pepper into quarters, reserving juices as you can. Remove the peels and seeds from each quarter. Place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds.
4. Pour olive oil over the peppers.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING THE SOUP:
1. Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat.
2. When the butter is sizzling, add the onions. Sauté until onions become translucent and soft, about 10–12 minutes.
3. Stir in the cayenne pepper and roasted bell peppers, and then add the broth.
4. Simmer about 15 minutes.
5. Use an immersion blender, or use a stand blender, processing just 2 cups at a time, to thoroughly purée the soup.
6. Stir in the heavy cream and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Add additional cayenne pepper, if desired.
7. If necessary, reheat soup over low heat, stirring constantly.
Serving Suggestion and Pairing:
Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with crème fraîche and parsley or other fresh herbs. Pairing Suggestion: Black Pepper Mead, Bos Meadery, Madison, Wisconsin, is zesty, still, and dry, made with a blend of regional honeys and infused with black pepper, with a gently spicy aroma and a crisp, dry finish. You might have finished this soup with a grinding of fresh black pepper, but instead you can pair it with Black Pepper Mead