This is one of my favorite soups. It is a bit deceptive, because it won’t have much red pepper flavor at first. But if you refrigerate it for at least four hours, you will be amazed how vibrant the red pepper flavor will have become. I find this flavor delay in other soups, such as artichoke and cauliflower, as well. Red pepper soup is also multinational. Its country of origin changes with the garnish.
Please use the richer and fleshier pimento peppers if possible. Regular red peppers are acceptable but they will not be quite as vibrant.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook slowly until translucent. Add the peppers and enough chicken stock to barely cover them. Heat to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the peppers are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Puree the solids in a blender or food processor. If there are too many large flecks of skin visible and they annoy you, you may pass the pureed soup through a food mill. Thin the soup with remaining stock to the desired consistency and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate the soup at least 4 hours or overnight. You may serve this soup cold or reheat it. Taste and adjust the seasoning just before serving. Garnish as desired.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.