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Middle Eastern Red Pepper Soup

Middle Eastern Red Pepper Soup
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Prep Time: 30 min Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 30 min Yield: 4 bowls
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Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian (1999): This is a lovely, easy-to-make soup with an attractive orange-red color. Serve it plain, drizzled with a little extra-virgin olive oil on top, or take a slice of crusty bread for each serving, rub a cut garlic clove over it, and then toast it lightly. Put this at the bottom of a soup plate and pour the hot soup over the top. Red Pepper Paste gives this soup depth. You can make it yourself, buy it ready-made, or substitute tomato paste plus 1/8 tsp cayenne. I used a store-bought Harissa.

Ingredients

Directions

1. Put the olive oil in a large, wide pan and set over medium-high heat.
2. When hot, put in the onion (peeled & chopped), red peppers (cored, seeded, & coarsely chopped), garlic (peeled & coarsely chopped), and potato (peeled & cut into 1/4-inch dice).
3. Stir and cook for about 12 minutes. At first the vegetables will stew but then you should be able to saute them and they will begin to brown very slightly.
4. Add the stock and the Harissa, stir, and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer very gently for 20 minutes.
5. Taste the soup for salt, adding more if needed. Add the black pepper to taste.
6. Set a coarse sieve over a large bowl.
7. Transfer the soup to a blender in batches and blend until you have a very smooth puree. As each batch is pureed, empty it into the sieve and push it through, extracting the last drops of liquid.
8. The soup can be covered and refrigerated for 24 hours. Just before serving, heat the soup and pour it into soup plates or bowls. Drizzle a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil over each portion and serve.

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