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getting the bitter out of pepper soup?

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I made a big pot of roasted pepper soup last night, and though I was careful to pick out any burnt bits from the onions and peppers, there's a slight bitter hint to the end of each bite. Any thoughts on how to cover or eliminate it? (ingredients so far include chicken stock, peppers, carm'd onions, garlic, a bit of ginger, worcestershire, salt & pepper).

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  1. the fat in which you cooked either the onions or garlic would still have the burnt flavor, even if you removed obvious bits. to lessen that taste, try adding orange or apple juice, or pureed sweet potato.

    1. Peeling the peppers before adding should help remove any bitterness.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        shouldn't we safely assume she did that? if not, it's too late now.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          Boys can make pepper soup too, you know... ;-)

          I did not peel them, but I usually don't-- so much nutrition in those skins... This recipe was worked well before. I roast the peppers on low heat (300) for a couple of hours to make sure there was minimal charring. I think hotoynoodle is right-- must be the evoo carrying the flavor. I'll try the sweet juice or sweet potato method.

          Thanks, all--

          1. re: newhound

            fwiw, I char mine heavily (then peel, of course) in direct heat and never get bitterness, so I'd be suspect if it really were the from the charring or whatever burnt bits you got. Perhaps you just got a bitter bunch of peppers? Sometimes the veins and seeds can be quite bitter.

            1. re: adamclyde

              I stripped all the seeds and ribs; I think it was the burnt bits residue in the oil from teh onions. In the end, I added some paprika, a bit more worcestershire, and a teaspoon of maple syrup, and thinned it out a bit with more chicken broth. Sprinkled some pan-fried scallions on the top of each bowl, and the soup was saved. More than anything, the fried scallions gave it what it needed.

            2. re: newhound

              indeed! sorry for the reverse sexism.

              when most people roast peppers they char them heavily and quickly with direct flame ( i use my gas flame and tongs) and then peel off the papery black outer parts.

              glad you saved the soup!

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                How soft does the flesh get when you open-flame roast them? The recipe I've used gives the peppers a long slow low temp roast and so when you toss them in the soup pot with some broth, they're so soft that all you need is about two minutes with the electric hand mixer and voila, there's your soup.

        2. For the peppers, I would (as mentioned above) char them on an open flame, thoroughly and evenly, allow to cool in a paper bag, then peel off the skins by hand making sure not to run any water on them while doing so. The charring lends a smoky flavor to the peppers as well as cooking them. They will be quite soft once you've finished peeling them.
          As you did, I would also remove the ribs and seeds. It may indeed be that you got spoiled peppers to begin with. though. This is not pepper season in the US so they were probably shipped from south of the border somewhere like Chile.
          As for the onions, there is difference between caramelizing them and burning them, the latter would add a bitterness rather than a sweetness to the flavor.
          When in doubt, of course, adding some sugar to the finished product can be used a last resort to counteract bitterness.