Red Pepper Soup

Whenever I see red bell peppers on sale I buy two bags full along with a couple of pears, a few shallots and a bit of tarragon to make a double batch of my all-time favorite soup.  This gorgeous bright red soup, with a dash of sweetness and pinch of anise from the tarragon, is both satisfying and rich in antioxidants. Makes a stunning first course or an elegant light lunch when served with a crusty bread. Also freezes well.

8 medium sized red bell peppers
1 carrot, peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch
1 pear, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
2 shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Butter or oil for sautéing vegetables
1 quart chicken stock
1 t minced fresh tarragon (more or less according to your taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the peppers, cut them in half removing the tops, seeds, and inner white membrane. Preheat the broiler and place 4 of the halves, skin side up, on a foil lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the oven a few inches below the broiler. Broil for about 10 minutes. You want to blacken the skin without overcooking the pepper. When the skin is good and black remove the halves from the oven and place them in a paper sack for about 20 minutes or so. This will help loosen the skin from the pepper flesh.

Meanwhile, slice the remaining 6 peppers lengthwise into ½ slices.

In a Dutch oven or soup pot heat the butter or oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium low and sauté for a couple of minutes until the shallot becomes soft. Add the carrot, pear and sliced peppers and sauté until the vegetables release their liquid and start to soften. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer until the vegetables are good and soft, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the reserved peppers from the paper sack and peel and discard the charred skin. Coarsely chop the peppers and add half to the soup pot. The remainder will be added after the soup is blended. If you want a smoother texture add all the roasted pepper to the soup pot.

When the vegetables are tender blend the soup using an immersion blender or in batches if using a regular blender or food processor.

Add the tarragon and reserved roasted peppers and correct the seasoning.

4 thoughts

  1. You’ve been traveling…when do you have time to cook? 🙂 I love red bell pepper too, but I cannot find ones that are not picked too early. I bet this soup is very refreshing. 🙂

    1. Hi Whisks and Chopsticks, You are exactly right, I never have enough time to do all the things I would like to do, including keeping up with my blog and doing more cooking. The red peppers, really all the vegetables, here in France are much more flavorful than in the States. One of the things I will truly miss when we return home this summer.

      1. Ah well, all good things must come to an end….or does it? 🙂 You life is definitely richer by the experiences, and one day they will be wonderful, magical sparks to daydream about. Enjoy the rest of your time there! 🙂

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