Top a bowl of soup with a spoonful of any of the following garnishes just before serving.
Roasted Red Pepper Purée
Rinse and drain 2 jarred red bell peppers. Coarsely chop the peppers. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and add the peppers and 1 finely chopped clove garlic. Cook over low heat just until the garlic is tender, about 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or a pinch of dried thyme, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a food processor and purée.
Remove two 1/2 inch wide strips lemon or orange zest with a vegetable parer. Finely chop together with 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley or a combination of parsley, basil, dill, mint, savory, thyme, or other fresh herbs.
Mushroom Sauté with Herbs and Garlic
Combine 2 cups chopped mushrooms and 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon water or broth in a nonstick skillet. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the mushrooms are tender. Increase heat and cook, stirring until they are lightly browned. Add 1 finely chopped clove garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, and a pinch of thyme. Cook, stirring 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Puréed Roasted Garlic
Separate the cloves of garlic from the head. Discard the loose papery skins but do not peel. Place in a small shallow baking dish and drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Toss to coat. Bake in a preheated 300 degrees F oven until the garlic is softened, about 45 minutes. Cool. Cut the hard end off each clove of garlic and squeeze out the garlic into a small bowl. Mash the garlic, add any oil or juices left in the baking dish, and season with salt and pepper. Add a teaspoonful to each bowl of soup at serving time.
Spicy Tomato Purée
Cook 1 slice bacon in a small nonstick skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels, chop very fine, and set aside. Wipe skillet clean. Add 1/2 cup chopped seeded tomato, fresh or canned, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and a pinch of cayenne. Heat, stirring, until the tomato cooks to a thick purée. Set aside at room temperature. Add the bacon just before using.
LIGHTER QUICKER, BETTER
by Richard Sax and Marie Simmons
(William Morrow & Co.;
This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007
Copyright © 1994-2018,