Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
A chipotle chili lends a smoky, spicy and surprisingly sweet flavor to this chilled summer soup. Actually a dried and smoked jalapeño, the chipotle varies in color from dark tan to chestnut brown. While they may be found packed dry in plastic, look for canned chipotles in adobo sauce, a mixture of vinegar, tomatoes and herbs. A splash of the sauce can be added along with the chili to flavor and add heat to the soup.
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 6 large tomatoes, about 3 lb. total, coarsely chopped
- 4 large red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 chipotle chili in adobo
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, chipotle chili and stock. Cover partially and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Alternatively, process with a handheld blender in the pan until smooth. Pass the pureed soup through a medium-mesh sieve set over a serving bowl, pressing on the pulp. Discard any solids left in the sieve. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate the soup until it is well chilled, at least 4 hours.
Taste and adjust the seasoning just before serving. Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and garnish each with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of parsley. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Soup, by Diane Rossen Worthington (Simon & Schuster, 2001).