I'm relatively new to the concept of chilled soups. While soup is a kitchen staple for me during the cold months, I have yet to incorporate them into my summer menus. One of my summer food goals is to find a few key chilled soup recipes, and that goal was born thanks to this recipe. I stumbled upon this gem late last summer in Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's America" cookbook and fell in love.
Chilled Red Pepper Soup serves 4, adapted from Jamie Oliver's "Red Pepper Summer Soup"
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion (I prefer vadalia), peeled and roughly chopped
Crushed garlic (I used 1 heaping spoonful)
4 red bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 quart of vegetable broth
1 small bunch of basil, leaves picked
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper
2 small Persian cucumbers
1-2 stalks celery
In a large pan, add olive oil, chopped onion, and peppers. Fry gently on medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often, until vegetables are starting to soften.
Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat slightly and continue to cook for ten minutes.
Pour the soup mixture into a blender or food processor (you may need to do this in batches, and you could also, carefully, use an immersion blender for this) and add the basil leaves and red wine vinegar. Blend for 20-30 seconds or until mixed. Taste and season accordingly with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper if you want some heat. Let cool then put into a container and refrigerate to completely chill.
When you are ready to serve, you can prepare the garnish. Chop the cucumbers and celery and mix together. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each one with a big spoonful of the garnish.