This gorgeous orange-red soup brimming with vitamin C can be made with or without dairy to create a creamy and colorful meal that will perk up even the drabbest winter day.
Try serving Creamy Red Pepper Soup with a crisp salad and blue corn tortilla chips to complement its fiery color. You’ll receive a bounty of antioxidants in every mouthful of this flavorful soup.
2 medium potatoes, chopped into 1-inch pieces
6 cups good-quality vegetable broth
4 red or orange bell peppers, deseeded and chopped
1 large onion, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons oat, rice, or wheat flour
1 cup enriched rice milk or whole milk
1 scant tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons Port or dry sherry
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1. In a large pot, cook the potatoes in 2 cups broth over medium heat, loosely covered, until very tender, about 30 minutes.
2. While potatoes are cooking, in a large heavy-bottomed pot, saute minced onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until softened but not browned. Add chopped peppers, chopped tomatoes, and remaining 4 cups of broth. Cook until peppers are very soft.
3. When potatoes have softened, puree in a blender with their broth and replace in pot. When peppers are soft, puree the pepper/tomato mixture in batches, adding it to the potato puree in pot.
4. Use the pot that the peppers cooked in to heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir in flour and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, then add milk or rice milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until this sauce thickens into a roux. When thick and creamy, add to puree in soup pot, stirring to combine.
5. Turn heat under soup to medium-low, and add honey, paprika, cumin, port, salt, and a few grindings of fresh pepper. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley.