Recipe: Cream of Red Bell Pepper Soup

Red bell pepper soup: sounds strange, but tastes oh so good. It’s a light, versatile recipe that can be spiced up to your liking and served with a variety of cuisines!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious; photos and instructions are my own.

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Serves: 4-6

Time: about an hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Sliced fresh basil
  • (Optional) Crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

1. Prepare the peppers. There are a variety of methods for doing this, but my favorite strategy for large amounts of peppers is to use the oven. You can also char them individually over an open stove flame if the oven isn’t an option.  Cut the tops out of the peppers, deseed and devein them, cut them in half, and lay them out on a baking sheet. Crush them down with your palm so they lay flat (some breaking will occur).

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2. Position the oven rack towards the top of the oven, and set it to broil. Once preheating is done, put the peppers in the oven, leaving the oven door cracked so steam can escape. Broil until the skins are black and wrinkled, about 30 minutes.

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3. Once blackened, remove from oven, enclose in paper bags, and let them sit for 10 minutes. Remove peppers, and peel and slice them into strips.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped shallots, garlic and thyme and sauté 3 minutes. Add 3 cups broth and all but 4 slices of roasted pepper. Simmer uncovered until peppers are very soft, about 20 minutes.

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5. Puree the soup until smooth. I prefer to use a stick blender by simply submerging it into the pot; this method only takes about 10 seconds. However, a normal blender can also be used by ladling the soup into the blender, pureeing it in batches, and returning it to the pot.

6. Add half and half, vinegar, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. For extra spiciness, I added crushed red pepper flakes and extra cayenne.

7. Rewarm the soup when ready to serve, thinning with additional broth, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with reserved pepper strips and basil.

I hope your eaters will be as happy as mine were! Feel free to leave feedback, good or bad.

Thanks for stopping by,

Michelle