Red peppers give this cauliflower soup gorgeous color and smooth texture.
6 large red bell peppers, stemmed and cored, halved lengthwise, and pressed flat
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 shallots, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 quart fat-skimmed chicken broth
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 teaspoon sugar
Freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
Chopped fresh chives (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat broiler to high. Arrange bell peppers skin side up on baking sheet. Broil, watching carefully, until skins are blackened, about 10 minutes. Remove peppers from oven and let cool. Peel over a bowl to collect juices; set peppers and juices aside.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add shallots, salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring until soft, 3 minutes. Add broth and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Add peppers with juices and cook, covered, until cauliflower is tender, 10 minutes. Purée in batches in a blender and add sugar. Add pepper to taste.
Serve hot or cold, garnished with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, some chives, and a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.