15 Feb

Capsicum soup with olive cornbread

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)
* 1 tbs olive oil
* 2 red onions, halved, finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 4 (about 1.4kg) red capsicums, halved, deseeded, coarsely chopped
* 1 x 400g can diced tomatoes with basil
* 1.25L (5 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
* 250ml (1 cup) thickened cream
* Salt & freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

Olive cornbread
* 170g (1 cup) coarse polenta (cornmeal)
* 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
* Pinch of salt
* 250ml (1 cup) milk
* 100g butter, melted
* 1 egg, lightly whisked
* 80g (1 cup) coarsely grated cheddar
* 85g (1/2 cup) drained stuffed green olives, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until soft. Add capsicum and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until capsicum softens.
  3. Place one-third of capsicum mixture in the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with the remaining capsicum mixture. Add the cream and stir over low heat until hot. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the olive cornbread, combine polenta, flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the milk, melted butter and egg, and stir until combined. Stir in cheddar. Spoon mixture among eight 250ml (1-cup) capacity non-stick mini loaf pans and smooth the surface. Top with olives. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack to cool slightly.
  5. Ladle capsicum soup among serving bowls. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately with sliced cornbread.

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