Magazine article Sunset

Smooth Soups

Magazine article Sunset

Smooth Soups

Article excerpt

The humble elements of these soups, pureed ether, form smooth, flavorful collaborations. Vegetables thicken and color them, while garnishes add textural contrast and seasoning. Such smooth soups are sometimes called bisques. Potatoes lend silkiness to the sweet golden pepper bisque. Creamy pinto beans, sweet tomatoes, and carrots make another winning combination.

Golden Pepper Bisque

  2 large (about 1 lb. total) yellow bell
   1 tablespoon salad oil or olive oil
   1 large onion, chopped
   2 large (about 1 lb. total) thin-skinned
potatoes, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch chunks
  2 large (about 1/2 lb. total) carrots,
peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  1 large stalk celery, ends trimmed,
thinly sliced
  6 cups regular-strength chicken broth
  Extra-virgin olive oil
  Salt and pepper
  Finely shredded parmesan cheese
  Croutons (recipe follows)

Rinse bell peppers. Place in a 9-inch pie or cake pan and broil about 4 inches from heat, turning as needed, until all sides are charred, 12 to 17 minutes. Let cool. Remove and discard stems, seeds, and skin; rinse peppers and cut into chunks.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine salad oil and onion. Stir occasionally over medium-high heat until onion is faintly browned, about 10 minutes. Add bell peppers, potatoes, carrots, celery, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until carrots are very soft to bite, 20 to 25 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, smoothly puree vegetable mixture, a portion at a time. (If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up until the next day.) Return to pan. Warm soup, covered, over medium heat; stir often. Ladle into wide soup bowls. Add extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, cheese, and croutons to taste. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Per plain serving: 109 cal.; 3.7 g protein; 3.2 g fat; 17 g carbo. …

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