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Silky Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup

The recipe, Silky Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup is from the cook book, "Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen," by Deborah Madison. I chose to use the Vitamix on a low setting to puree the soup and maintain some texture, rather than passing it through a food mill. I added champagne vinegar at the end. The type of vinegar was not specified in the original recipe. I thought of experimenting with Balsamic vinegar, but was afraid it would discolor the beautiful bright color of the soup. I had never broiled peppers in order to later skin them. In the past I had always roasted them at high heat. Broiling was a pleasant revelation and worked well, and I liked Ms. Madison's encouragement to not make yourself too crazy with trying to perfectly skin the peppers. In her notes to the recipe, Ms. Madison advised that you can make a quick version of this soup by just sautéing the peppers and onions, without peeling the peppers. But I agree with her that going the extra steps to roast and peel the peppers is preferred, as the skins of the peppers give a "sharp taste."
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 -8 Servings
Author Deborah Madison

Ingredients

  • THE STOCK:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • Cores and trimmings from the peppers
  • 1 small zucchini chopped
  • 1 small carrot chopped
  • Handful of ripe small tomatoes or a large tomato halved
  • Few basil leaves
  • 1 thyme sprig or piece of dried thyme
  • Sea salt
  • THE SOUP:
  • 2 pounds 4 to 5 meaty yellow bell peppers, tops sliced off, cores and seeds reserved for stock
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • Vinegar such as Chardonnay, sherry, or balsamic to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced bell pepper different colors

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches beneath the broiling unit. Begin the stock: Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat and add the onion and the rest of the ingredients as you slice them, along with a scant teaspoon salt. When the onion has some color, after about 5 minutes, add 5 cups water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes. Strain.
  2. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and flatten them. Brush the skins with oil, including the tops (minus their stems) and place them skin side up on a sheet pan. Broil only until the skin is bubbling, puckered, and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Put them in a bowl, cover, and leave them to steam for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1-½ tablespoons oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and cook over low heat while you peel the peppers. Pull or scrape off as much skin as you can without making yourself crazy, then chop the peppers and add them to the pot as you go, long with 12 teaspoon salt and the strained stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Cool slightly, then puree in batches. For the best texture, pass the soup through a food mill. Taste for salt and add a few drops of vinegar to bring everything together. Serve with a spoonful of the diced pepper in each bowl or another garnish [Per headnote to recipe, you can finish the soup in one of other many ways, such as; "with a vinegar reduction; romesco sauce spread on small croutons; sour cream and chives; or a salsa verde").