Yellow Pepper Soup with Wild Mushroom Croutons

Becky Luigart-Stayner
This recipe is a delicious lesson in how roasting sweetens and deepens the flavor of bell peppers. The peppers can be roasted a day ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to prepare the soup. -Recipe by Taji Marie

Yield:

6 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and 2 croutons)

Recipe from

Nutritional Information

Calories 244
Caloriesfromfat 21 %
Fat 6.1 g
Satfat 1.8 g
Monofat 2.7 g
Polyfat 0.9 g
Protein 8.1 g
Carbohydrate 41.5 g
Fiber 6.5 g
Cholesterol 7 mg
Iron 2.5 mg
Sodium 588 mg
Calcium 68 mg

Ingredients

Soup:
6 large yellow bell peppers
Cooking spray
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped leek
1 cup finely chopped peeled baking potato
1 cup chopped carrot
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Croutons:
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups chopped mixed mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake, button, and oyster)
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) French bread baguette, cut into 12 slices

Preparation

Preheat oven to 500°.

To prepare soup, place peppers on a jelly-roll pan. Lightly coat peppers with cooking spray. Bake at 500° for 30 minutes or until blackened on all sides, turning occasionally. Place peppers in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 20 minutes. Peel and discard skins. Cut in half lengthwise; discard membranes and seeds.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, potato, and carrot; cook 5 minutes. Stir in paprika and bay leaf. Add water and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Stir in roasted pepper halves; simmer 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Stir in vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Place half of bell pepper mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining bell pepper mixture. Keep warm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare croutons, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; reduce heat to medium. Stir in wine; cook 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in thyme and garlic; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, and stir in parsley, cream, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.

Place bread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until toasted. Place 1 heaping tablespoon mushroom mixture on each crouton. Serve croutons with soup.

Note:

Taji Marie, Sur La Table,

March 2005