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Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett Photo by: Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett

Roasted Red Pepper Soup With Pesto Croutons

If you serve the soup cold, stir in an extra 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Southern Living MAY 2008

  • Yield: Makes 6 servings
  • Cook time: 35 Minutes
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes
  • Cool: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

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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Roasted Red Pepper Soup With Pesto Croutons Recipe

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