Recipe for red pepper soup with lime
This week, my local supermarket had a sale on red bell peppers so meaty and unblemished that I couldn't pass them by. This soup -- creamy without cream, sweet without sugar -- would make an elegant first course for a dinner party. It would be equally comfortable alongside a grilled cheese sandwich as a stand-in for tomato soup. The lime zest and juice keep it balanced. And I promise this is the real color, no Photoshop involved. If you can't find a red jalapeño in your market, either substitute a smaller (hotter) red chile pepper, or let a green jalapeño sit on the countertop for a week or so, until it turns red and wrinkly.
Red pepper soup with lime
Adapted from The Soup Bible, this recipe serves 6-8.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 large or 4 medium red bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 red jalapeño pepper, seeds and membranes removed, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp tomato paste
3-1/2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and red bell peppers, stir, and cover. "Sweat" the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until they are just soft. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño and tomato paste, and 2 cups of stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the pot from heat and pureé the soup with an immersion blender; or, let cool slightly and pureé in a food processor or stand blender, then return the soup to the pot. The soup should be super-smooth, with no chunks of pepper or onion.
Return to the heat, pour in the remaining stock, lime zest and juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring all to the boil, and remove from the heat.
Serve hot, or chilled.