Are you taking the October Unprocessed challenge like I am? Then you’ll love this recipe for Orange Bell Pepper Soup with Roasted Broccoli.
The challenge started October 1, well, October 2 for me. Not that I cheated on Day 1, but rather I forgot that September ended on Saturday. I was a bit distracted by my Hokies losing to Clemson. Oh well.
What is October Unprocessed?
For those unfamiliar with October Unprocessed, you pledge to go an entire month without eating processed food. The food you eat must pass the kitchen test, meaning a person with reasonable skills in a home kitchen should be able to reproduce it using whole-food ingredients. So, a protein bar containing cashews and dates would pass the kitchen test, but one containing soy protein isolate, inulin (from chicory root), and pyridoxine hydrochloride would not.
About Orange Bell Pepper Soup with Roasted Broccoli
So far, I’ve learned one of the easiest ways to eat unprocessed is to make a big pot of vegetable soup. Cook once, eat for several meals. This orange bell pepper soup is perfect. It has a nice smoky flavor from the roasted vegetables and a creamy texture from the puréed beans. No dairy in sight!
If you really want to get into the unprocessed spirit, cook your own dried beans and make your own vegetable stock.
Other Unprocessed Soups and Stews
If you are looking for other soups and stews for October Unprocessed, check these out:
- 3 large orange bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, cut into 4 or 5 pieces each
- 1½ tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, cut in half, then sliced
- 1½ teaspoons white balsamic, white wine, or champagne vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus extra for roasting broccoli
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus extra for roasting broccoli
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 3 cups roughly chopped broccoli florets (about 1 head)
- Preheat broiler. Arrange bell pepper pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet, skin side up. Broil until skins are black and well-charred, about 8 minutes. Transfer pepper pieces to a heat-resistant bowl and cover. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove the skins and discard.
- Heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and vinegar, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and sauté until the onions have caramelized, another 8 minutes or so.
- Add garlic and about 1 tablespoon of the broth. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bell pepper pieces, remaining broth, beans, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until peppers are very tender, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- While the soup is cooking, roast the broccoli. Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine florets, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and some salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour onto baking sheet. Roast, stirring once halfway, for about 15 minutes or until broccoli is tender and browned.
- Purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor (follow manufacturer's directions for hot ingredients) or using an immersion (stick) blender.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with broccoli and remaining ½ teaspoon thyme leaves.
Watching sodium? The nutritional values for this recipe were calculated assuming your vegetable broth is homemade (zero sodium) and your beans are no-salt-added. If you use packaged broth or regular canned beans, watch the sodium counts. You can also cook your own dried beans (without salt) and/or reduce the amount of kosher salt in the recipe.