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Yellow Pepper Soup with Wild Mushroom Croutons

Becky Luigart-Stayner
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup soup and 2 croutons)
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

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

Nutrition 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

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 500°.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Preheat oven to 350°.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.