A recent sale on red bell peppers got me thinking about pureed bell pepper soup. Today was the day for this soup. Not wanting to take time to find a recipe, I made it up as I went along. This cooking philosophy doesn’t always serve me well, but today I struck gold (or ruby?). The results were just what I’d hoped for.
First, I chopped and seeded 4 large red bell peppers. Next, the peppers sautéed in just a bit of olive oil. When the bell peppers were just starting to brown, I added a splash of white wine (1/4 cup?) and a spoonful (1 tablespoon?) of low-sodium chicken bouillon. I stirred to dissolve the bouillon, then poured in about 1 cup (maybe a bit less) water. Next, I added about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried basil, covered the saucepan, and simmered the soup until the bell peppers were tender (15ish minutes). A quick whir with the immersion blender pureed it smooth (you could also transfer the soup to a traditional blender for the puree). The pan was removed from the heat so I could add 1 to 2 tablespoons 1% milk and about the same amount plain low-fat yogurt. Stirring in the dairy off the heat was important as both are low-fat and sure to curdle the high-acid soup if brought to a boil.
It was all pinch-and-dash, so I was glad to see the soup turn out well. The color was bold and the flecks of dried basil added a touch of rustic. Pressing the finished soup through a fine-mesh strainer would have rendered it smooth as silk, but I preferred the hint of texture from the bell pepper skins. I loved the deep and savory flavors–lots of bell pepper with a heavy hint of basil. And when I did the math, I figured I’d eaten half of the recipe (which made about 3 cups total). That means I downed two (!) large bell peppers. Wow. That’s some serious vitamins A and C as well as fiber and all the healthy “plant chemicals” we hear so much about. A very nutritious bowl of red, for sure.