I pledge my everlasting affection and devotion to this roasted pepper soup.I don't mean to start this post with gushing, but this stellar soup has that effective on me. If it was served at a restaurant, I would never order anything else there, and I'd gush to the waiter and embarrass myself. There's nothing unusual or exotic in this soup: it's just peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic.... But once you roast those peppers, all of the humble ingredients are elevated by a smoky sweetness, heightened by a speck of honey, and made rich with a wee bit of cream. It's a definite MUST MAKE before the season slips away. Peppers are at their best in late summer, so seize the day-make this soup on a sunny breezy evening before you head out for a pleasant bike ride or walk around the neighborhood. I'm making it again tonight, and this time I'm going for a double batch so I can gush over leftovers tomorrow.
Money Saving Tips:
Make this only when the bell peppers are on sale for $1 or less. You can make it with canned roasted peppers in a pinch. If you don't have fresh basil, add some dried with the honey, or try swirling some bottled pesto in with the finished soup. If you don't want to add cream, fat free evaporated milk is a great stand-in.
Roasted Red and Yellow Pepper Soup
Estimated Cost: $6.00
3 whole bell peppers
1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon honey
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 to 1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
fresh basil, if desired
Roast bell peppers until blackened in most places. (I usually do it over a gas flame, but you can also do it in the oven at 450 degrees.) Place peppers in a ziptop bag for ten minutes. Remove from bag, remove stem and seeds and peel peppers, scraping with a knife. Chop coarsely. Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add peppers, onion, garlic, and carrot. Saute until vegetables are softened, about five minutes. Add tomatoes with juices, honey and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all vegetables are softened. Blend soup in blender, food processor, or with immersion blender, until not almost smooth, but with some chunky texture. Add cream and heat until just below a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh basil, sour cream and croutons if desired.
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