Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup
Roasting red bell peppers in the oven gives them a rich, smoky flavor that in turn creates a deeply flavorful soup. This is good served hot or chilled and is a good first course for most any kind of meal.
Serves: 6 or more
- 8 medium red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- 1/3 cup mixed minced fresh herbs of your choice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Thinly sliced scallions for garnish
- Vegan sour cream, homemade or store-bought (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Arrange the whole peppers on a parchment line baking sheet. Arrange the bell peppers on it. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning with tongs every 5 minutes or so, until the skins on all sides are charred and puckered.
Remove from the oven and divide among two paper bags. Shut tightly and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes. Slip the skins off, then remove and discard the stems, seeds and fibers. Slice one bell pepper into narrow strips to use as garnish, then chop the remaining peppers coarsely and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to saute until the onion is soft and just beginning to turn golden.
Transfer the onion mixture to the container of a food processor or blender. Add the bell peppers and one cup of water. Puree until quite smooth.
Return to the soup pot along with three cups of water, or enough to give the soup a moderately thick consistency. Add the wine and chili powder. Bring to a simmer and simmer gently over low heat for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat, then stir in the lemon juice and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
If time allows, let the soup stand for an hour or two before serving, or make a day ahead, then heat through as needed, or serve chilled. Either way, garnish each serving with a sprinkling of scallions, and if desired, a dollop of vegan sour cream.