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Middle Eastern Red Pepper Soup

by elanalee  |  Mar 12, 2012

Middle Eastern Red Pepper Soup
  1. PREP
  2. 30 m
  • COOK
  • 30 m
  • 1 h

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.



  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion, Raw
  • 3 Red Bell Pepper (large)
  • 2 Garlic Clove
  • 1 average Potato, Raw
  • 4 cups Organic Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp Harissa
  • 1/5 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Pepper, Black


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.