A red pepper is simply a green pepper allowed to mature on the plant, gaining great color and terrific sweetness. There’s nothing hot about this variety. “Pear” it up with some of the season’s naturally sweet vegetables in this soup that looks and feels like a cream soup on the tongue yet doesn’t contain a drop of cream.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 red bell peppers seeded and coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 cups rich chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 ripe pear
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Sour cream
- Chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, carrots, onion and garlic and sauté for two minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and tender but not browned. Add the chicken stock and pear. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the soup remains at a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Let cool.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot and season with salt and cayenne pepper. Thin the soup, if desired, with additional chicken stock. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Makes 8 servings.