Roasted red pepper soup, for Laurie

Our friend Laurie is at home recuperating from a tonsillectomy, OD’ing on popsicles and Jell-O. Solid food is distant on the horizon. Feel better soon, Laurie!

I thought something savory might be a welcome break, but it needed to be puréed. Soup was the logical answer. Gazpacho was a favorite cold lunch back in our steamy Washington, DC days. In chilly Wisconsin, I make a tomato and roasted red pepper pasta sauce. This soup is a combination of the two dishes. It’ll be a while before Laurie is ready for anything more intense than Italian ice, but when she is,  this soup will be in her fridge.

I used roasted red peppers from a jar, mostly because 1) fresh red peppers are still muy expensive here in the Great Lakes (out of season), and 2) roasted peppers are one of those rare foods that are actually really terrific in a jar. Not that Laurie isn’t worth the fresh peppers (you are, Laurie! you are!), but I happened to have a jar of beautiful Italian roasted peppers in my pantry.

The soup, served hot, is reminiscent of a really good tomato soup, but with a deeper, more complex flavor. Cold, it’s similar to a gazpacho, but smoother both in texture and in taste.

That little splash of cream is a luxurious finishing touch. It’s also an effective way to lessen the heat of a too-spicy dish, if that’s an issue. Fresno chiles aren’t very hot, but I wanted to make sure Laurie had a mellow soup for that sore throat. The cream made sure of that.

Check out this post and other great soups (and salads and sammies) on Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup
4 bowls, or 8-10 appetizer-style shots

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs. olive oil
1 fresno chile, chopped (or another red chile)
salt and pepper
2 cups coarsely chopped roasted red peppers*
2 cups skinned, chopped tomatoes**
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
3 tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 tbs. heavy cream
minced chives, chive flowers, or basil sprigs for garnish

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent. Add the fresno, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the chile is tender and the onions are lightly browned. Add the roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. You’re looking for the veggies to be breaking down a bit, and for the flavors to meld.

Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.  Stir in the basil, and give it another whirl so that the basil is reduced to green flecks. Stir in the cream.

Serve this soup hot, or refrigerate it and serve cold.

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About Rivertree kitchen

I am a freelance editor with a specialty in cookbook editing. I've written two small cookbooks (50 Best Sundaes and 50 Best Cookies) and am currently finishing a collection of my own recipes from soup (Sweet Potato-Pear) to nuts (Spicy Almonds). Despite my immersion in recipes, my favorite way to cook is to see what's in the fridge and wing it. I live with my husband, son and dog in rural Wisconsin. Husband (Tom) and son (Luke) are talented cooks themselves; the dogs (Cleo and Libby) not so much. But they're young yet. All the photographs in this blog are my own creations. I'm a neophyte in the world of food photography (as if you couldn't tell), but I still claim blushing ownership of the pix you see here. If you want to reprint them (I can't imagine why), please give credit, if for no other reason than to pass on the blame.
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5 Responses to Roasted red pepper soup, for Laurie

  1. I dearly love roasted red pepper soup and this one looks so rich and creamy. Yum! 😉 Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays. The round up is posted for this week and I hope to have you join in again sometime.

    Aloha,

    Deb

    • Thanks so much, Deb. It does have a creamy texture, but it’s still healthy, since there’s only 2 tbs. of heavy cream. Thanks for letting me post on Souper Sundays. I’ll be back–what a great site!

  2. Simona says:

    Love the color of your soup! You reminded me that I should still have a container of roasted peppers from last year. I also like to add them to a soup.

  3. Laurie says:

    This soup was DELICIOUS!!! Plus, it froze beautifully and didn’t loose any of it’s flavor or perfect texture. Nancy, thank you for the delicious meal during my recovery! LSC

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