I am extra-specially-excited to share this recipe with you today because I have just made this spectacular red pepper soup in anticipation of having my friends Christine and Dirk, who care deeply about food, over for dinner. It’s so lovely and silky and has the perfect combination of sweet and slightly tangy and it makes you feel like you’re doing pliés with a very long flowing ribbon against a perfectly impressionist out-of-focus background.
I first had this soup at a baby shower for my friend Heidi. It was a lovely shower, where instead of gifts she requested blessings written on pretty cards for the baby. Now, having gone to many showers, I am actually quite skilled at baby shower games — including the ones, strangely, that you win by chance — and probably should have reported all those winnings as taxable income. But now that my friends aren’t having so many babies anymore, I’m a little more out of practice, so I was happy to try out this new format. With the close-knit and cozy nature of the shower, and the very personal and heartfelt nature of the blessings, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. For me, especially, since I was probably over-hydrated after having at least four helpings of this soup. See if you can get away with less than four.
Sadly, I don’t know to whom to attribute this recipe. It was passed along by the woman who prepared it, Shannon, who got it from a cooking course she took.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what you’ll need:
Ok, you’ll need a few other things that aren’t pictured, but I forgot to put them in the family picture. Sorry.
Start by slicing up all the veggies and fruit.
Heat up butter and olive oil in a pot, and throw in all the veggies and fruit. Don’t be alarmed if the pot looks very full, as the they’ll wilt down a bit. Add in 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper. Start the mood music.
You’ll want to cook until the veggies are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add in 4 cups chicken stock and 1 tsp honey, and cook for another 30 minutes. Add in the salt and pepper and adjust to taste.
Blend it in batches til it’s all silky smooth. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, or greens.
This really is one of my all-time favorite soups. What are yours?
RED PEPPER SOUP
- 8 red peppers
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 3 shallots, peeled
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 4 pears, peeled and quartered
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 4 TBSP (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp crushed dried red pepper
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tsp salt / ground pepper to taste
- Optional: sour cream, herbs to garnish
Slice the peppers, carrots, shallots, and garlic. Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add in vegetables, garlic, dried red pepper and pears (at first I typed “bears”. You definitely want “pears” for this one.). Cook until softened, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the chicken stock and honey, and cook for another 30 minutes.
Puree the soup in a blender and pour back into the pot. Reheat over low heat, garnish with a dollop of sour cream or herbs, and serve.