Bell Pepper

Fire roasted red pepper semolina soup

August 29, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

Semolina soup can be made as thick or thin as you like. Integrating red peppers into every phase of making this soup showcases all the rich flavors and textures of the red pepper to create a comfort dish with surprising depth. This is an old world recipe that can be made from scratch, but you can also find shortcuts along the way, if time is pressing. I will suggest both directions. This soup works well with sweet or smoked paprika. Just be sure you have the real thing. I highly recommend Hungarian imports! Spanish paprika is also good. The quality of paprika makes a big difference! Using home roasted peppers beats even the best commercially available ones, but in a pinch they can be used. Roasting peppers outdoors on the grill is the best, but they can also be done under the broiler. For the presentation of this soup, cut your fire roasted peppers into slivers. See the photos for the process. Arrange these with the delicate Korean bell pepper threads, shilgochu, which are sweet. You can find these at Savory Spice online. Then swirl EVOO into the soup and serve with a crusty artisan bread. I love eating this soup. There is something especially comforting and soothing about its distinctive taste and texture. This is a soup well worth making from scratch. If you have never had this, I hope you will crave it again and again after you have sampled it. —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • 3-4 cups broth made from red peppers, herbs, tomatoes, carrot, and onion
  • bouquet garni of thyme, parsley, basil, sage or similar herbs
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2 teaspoons pink or kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2-3/4 cups pureed red peppers (and you could include some tomato carrot and onion, too, in this mix, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika (Hungarian preferred)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter/ghee, or high grade unsalted regular butter
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • splash of white wine, optional
  • splash of vodka, optional
  • 2-3 fire roasted peppers, cut into slivers
  • 2 tablespoons Korean bell pepper threads, shilgochu, optional
  • fresh herbs or capers for garnish, optional
  • sprinkle of paprika for garnish
  • additional EVOO for drizzle
  1. Start by making a 4 pints of great vegetable broth which includes filtered water, at least 2 sweet de-seeded red peppers, at least 1 tomato, 1 carrot, 1 onion, and the salt. Add a bouquet garni of thyme, sage, basil, and parsley to the broth. I use plain dental floss to tie the herbs together, but string works well. Add a cardamom pod, too. You can use all your saved vegetable ends to make this broth. Do include one fire roasted pepper into this broth as well as one uncooked sweet red pepper for depth of flavor. Give the broth at least an hour to simmer. Strain the broth and save any good pepper bits from which you can make your puree. Have about 4 cups of strained great broth in the end. From this, salvage about 1/2-3/4 cup of cooked red pepper (and a few other choice vegetables with a bit of tomato, carrot and onion)and puree. You can add a few tablespoons of broth into the mix to facilitate the puree if helpful. I used a blender.
  2. Heat ghee (if you have it) or unsalted high grade butter in a large sauté pan; add the paprika and cumin stirring constantly. Next add 3 tbl. of oil and heat for one minute. Add the semolina, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Add the pepper puree mixture into the semolina and continue stirring for a few minutes.
  3. Next add 3-4 cups of strained broth and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. If you are really pressed for time, you can select the best quality vegetable (or even chicken) broth you can find.
  4. Beat the egg with the milk. Take 1 or 2 tbsp of the simmering soup from the pot and add it to this mixture to temper. Then add this tempered mix to the soup, whisk in, and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Add wine and or vodka at this point if desired in the final cooking minutes. If you have stirred continuously this soup should be very smooth. However, if you find a few clumps of the semolina along the way, they just add a bit more texture, not to worry.
  5. To serve this soup, ladle into the dishes. Arrange a cut fire roasted pepper on top with bell pepper threads, if you like. Drizzle EVOO on top. Garnish with fresh herb or capers and paprika. You can enjoy this soup warm or even cool. Serve with artisan bread! I really hope you make this and enjoy it.
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5 Reviews

Droplet May 22, 2011
Your recipes seem to have a soul. I like this idea of yours. At the end of the summer season when the red peppers are at their best, we get a larger amount, char them, sweat them in a pot with a lid and after peeling them freeze them in bags 7-10 in each, for the winter. I usually clean the seeds whenever I slit them open after defrosting. The ice that forms from their natural juices helps clean out any left over charred bits, but I never wash them in water because that seems to rob the best of their taste. I think they will work great for this.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, DInah, for your kind comment and the tip about the peppers! Your process sounds wonderful.
Droplet May 22, 2011
I am sorry, I forgot to mention that we do core them before charring. Every now and then there would be an unwanted guest in one.
cheese1227 August 30, 2010
This looks georgous. Where to you get those Korean bell pepper threads? They are lovely!
Sagegreen August 30, 2010
Thanks. I have made two batches this week already! I love this soup. The bell pepper threads are completely optional, but I ordered these online from Savory Spice at: