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

Amanda Fremouw, Franklin, Tennessee
Recipe by Southern Living

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Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Buffy Hargett

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
35 mins
cool:
10 mins
total:
1 hr 5 mins
Yield:
Makes 6 servings
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • Bake at 350° for 16 to 20 minutes or until golden, turning once after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ladle soup into 6 bowls; top with croutons. Garnish, if desired.