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Southwest Tomato & Roasted Pepper Soup

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Serves five to six.

Yields about 5-3/4 cups.

  • To learn more, read:
    The Best Tomato Soups
  • by Perla Meyers from Fine Cooking
    Issue 91

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 3 Tbs. plus 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped (reserve the juice)
  • 1 cup small-diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
Tip:
Be sure to purée in small batches and crack the blender lid slightly (or remove the center cap from the lid). Steam can build up once you start blending, and if the lid is on tight or the blender is overfilled, it will spray hot soup all over you and your kitchen. For protection, cover the top with a dishtowel while puréeing.

Coat the pepper with 1/2 tsp. of the oil. Roast directly on the grate of a gas burner over high heat or under a broiler, turning the pepper occasionally until charred all over. Put the pepper in a bowl while still hot and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest until cool enough to handle. Stem, seed, and peel the pepper, using a table knife to scrape away the charred skin. Coarsely chop the pepper and set aside.

In a nonreactive 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the remaining 3 Tbs. oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the chili powder, cumin, and coriander into the onions. Add the roasted pepper and cook for another minute. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a simmer over mediumhigh heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Let cool briefly and then purée the soup in two or three batches in a blender or food processor. Rinse the pot and return the soup to the pot. If it is too thick, add some of the reserved tomato juice. Add the zucchini and cook for another 10 minutes over low heat.

Southwest Tomato & Roasted Pepper Soup Recipe

Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest in a small bowl.

Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the lime sour cream and the cilantro leaves.

Make Ahead Tips

This soup stores beautifully and tastes better the second day. You can keep it in the refrigerator as long as you bring it to a boil every two days. Or you can stash it in the freezer for up to three months.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 170; Fat (g): 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 110; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 220; Cholesterol (mg): 10; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

this soup is excellent. i always make the classic tomato soup, but this one has a little more 'kick' to it and would be a great choice to serve at a dinner party!

This soup is Fantastic. Made this recipe exactly as written but I used my immersion blender. The lime sour cream and cilantro put this over the top. I loved the classic tomato soup recipe from this same issue...but this one is even better. Great flavors and very easy. Linda

Outstanding soup. With it and a roll it made a great dinner on a cold winter night. It is outstanding. It is a bunch easier to make if you have a hand blender that you can dip into the soup. That makes it a piece of cake (and a bowl of soup). Next time we are going to double it so we can freeze another meal. This recipe fed two of us with enough leftover to make a nice lunch for one of us.

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