I agree that it needs a little salt and pepper, but my husband LOVES this soup. He's a big protein guy though, so we usually grill a chicken breast to go along with it.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup With Pesto Croutons
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett
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Cool: 10 Minutes
- 1/4 cup refrigerated pesto, at room temperature
- 6 sourdough bread slices
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (15-oz.) jar roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garnishes: fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pesto on 1 side of each bread slice. Cut each bread slice into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes. Place bread cubes in a single layer on a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan.
- 2. Bake at 350° for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden, turning once after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool.
- 3. Melt butter with oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in bell peppers and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 10 minutes.
- 4. Process red pepper mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor 8 to 10 seconds until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Return red pepper mixture to Dutch oven; stir in half-and-half and parsley, and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- 5. Ladle soup into 6 bowls; top with croutons. Garnish, if desired.
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