Enjoy the bold taste of romesco sauce in a flavorful soup. Add some broth and perhaps some cream to already made sauce for a quick and elegant meal or snack.
Given that the theme of this year’s Carbon Fast is about food waste, I was stoked to find out the latest Recipe ReDux Challenge was Two for One. You may have seen this concept referred to a Cook Once, Eat Twice or Chained Meal Planning or Planned Leftovers. It’s all the same thing: the thrifty transformation of leftover food into another meal.
While romesco sauce is sometimes referred to as “Spanish ketchup” Rick and I just don’t eat it that quickly. We had a batch available after serving it with fried cod and I was influenced by similar soups we’ve been making all winter. This one in particular was inspired by the memory of our first taste of a roasted red pepper soup.
For my 50th birthday Rick treated me to dinner at a very posh restaurant in our hometown. The chef is semi-retired and is well known in the region. We wore our finest clothes. Rick looked amazing in his suit and I was stunning in my little black dress. Imagine our surprise when we entered the restaurant and were seated in plastic chairs! Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m putting on heels and panty hose, I expect to be sitting on a cushion.
The menu was prix fixe, with two or three choices for each course. We made our selections and were very happy with the meal we were served, despite the dubious surroundings. There were two highlights and they weren’t the crab stuffed rockfish or veal medallions (don’t get me wrong, they were delicious!). Between the salad and the main course we were served a small glass full of a creamy roasted red pepper soup. It was extraordinary and so very different from the hearty soups we were used to. [The other highlight was the banana beignets served with three dipping sauces. We’ve recreated them as well, and one day I’ll write up a post.]
But back to the roasted red pepper soup… The first version I made used red peppers roasted in my own oven and leftover mashed potatoes to add bulk and creaminess. It was served with a splash of balsamic vinegar. I like it best when made with homemade vegetable broth, but chicken broth works, too. Since those first efforts, I’ve come to appreciate the convenience of canned or jarred red peppers.
It isn’t much of a stretch to add broth to already made romesco sauce. But the difference between the two soups is like Jekyll and Hyde. Where the original soup is a bit sweet, romesco soup is much more assertive thanks to the garlic and smoky paprika. You can tone it down by adding more broth or cream. You could also try adding some mashed potato or carrot.
Here’s how I made our romesco soup. No recipe required. We had about a cup of very thick romesco sauce available. I stirred this into two cups of chicken broth. This gave four small portions, which were served with slices of jamón and pieces of herb crusted goat cheese. If I had some sour cream or plain yogurt in the fridge I would have added it. If I wanted to make larger portions, I could have bulked it up with the aforementioned mashed potatoes or carrots. You could brighten the flavor with some lemon juice or zest. The beauty of this type of soup is that it can be different every time you make it.
Be sure to check out what other Recipe ReDux bloggers have done with their leftovers but browsing through the links below: