I used to eat at the Red Devil Barbeque and Grill all the time. There was one fairly close to where I lived in Etobicoke and there was one in the Entertainment District of downtown Toronto as well, where I would often eat between matinees and evening shows.  Side note: It was at one of these establishments where I first tried Dave’s Insanity Hot Sauce, and, as much as I love hot food – don’t do it.  Really.  DON’T DO IT.  You’ve been warned.  (Of course, that incident didn’t stop me from buying a bottle of the stuff!)

Alas, the Red Devil chain appears to be no more, but while it was around, I always ordered this fantastic soup.  Fortunately, someone requested the recipe in a favourite newspaper cooking column that I often read, so here it is.  Note that it is a two day affair.

two 28 oz cans of undrained tomatos

2 sweet red peppers, seeded and grilled under the broiler (but an outdoor charcoal barbeque is better)*

2 tbsp. vegetable stock base or 3 cubes (Knorr is what I use) [if halving the recipe, use just 1 cube. I used 2, and it was too salty.]

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

Salt, to taste. [note: there is plenty of sodium in the stock base. Add salt with care]

White pepper

¼ cup 35% cream

4 tbsp. sweet (unsalted) butter

1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil (as a garnish)

1)      Puree the tomatoes and grilled peppers in a food processor.  Place in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 25 minutes.

2)      Add all of the remaining ingredients to the tomato/pepper mixture (except the butter and basil) and simmer, uncovered, for a further 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and set saucepan in ice water and gradually whip in the butter.  Cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, heat gently and serve hot, with basil garnish.  Perhaps have a bottle of Tabasco (or Dave’s Insanity [use just one drop!]) on the table as well.

*Roasting Peppers in oven:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stems, seeds and membranes. Lay the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Roast the peppers for 15-20 minutes or until the skins are very dark and have collapsed. (There is no need to rotate or turn the peppers.) Once the skins are blackened remove the peppers from the oven. At this point most people recommend placing the roasted peppers in a paper bag to steam for about 10 minutes to help loosen the skin. I’ve never found that to be necessary, but I guess it depends on how stubborn your particular peppers are! Simply let the peppers cool for a few minutes until comfortable enough to handle and then peel the skins off and discard them. Meh — just process them as is.

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