3 or 4 whole roasted red bell peppers (from jar), drained
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (0.75-ounce) package savory tomato pasta sauce mix
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Garnish: freshly grated Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes or until slightly golden. Stir in crushed tomatoes and next 4 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool 10 minutes.
Process mixture, in small batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Return mixture to Dutch oven.
Stir in half-and-half, and simmer, stirring occasionally, over low heat until thoroughly heated; stir in ground red pepper. Garnish, if desired.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Spice Islands Savory Tomato Pasta Sauce Blend.
I made this for our Gourmet Group's Christmas dinner soup course. I made one and a half recipes, and used a 14 ounce can of chicken broth and a 10 ounce can of condensed chicken broth, undiluted, for richer flavor. I used a full packet of Lawry's spaghetti sauce mix. I made Christmas tree shaped croutons sprinkled with parsley and placed one in each bowl atop the shredded Parmesan cheese. The soup was very good and got rave reviews.
Outstanding - it was the hit of our Christmas Eve dinner! We prepared the recipe through the end of the second paragraph (processing and returning to the Dutch oven) in the early afternoon, and then waited until 30 minutes before dinner to finish. We used fat free plain yogurt in lieu of the half and half, reheated and served with both grated Parmesan and chives. The ground red pepper adds just enough zing. Weâll do this one again!