An elegant, rustic bowl of healthful goodness

Spicy red pepper soup with smoky cuminI adore cold soup. This one is perfect as the weather turns warm. It’s also versatile. It makes an elegant starter when served in beautiful china cups or fancy soup plates, topped with a dollop of crème fraiche. Or, it is a perfect light lunch or supper with a salad, or just a bit of grilled fish or chicken.

 
It’s dead easy to make cold red pepper soup. It gets a jolt of flavour from a touch of cumin and a hint of garlic. I use bottled red peppers. This avoids the tedious job of roasting and peeling the peppers. There is also chicken stock, but vegetarians can substitute vegetable stock of good quality. Make sure you do not buy vinegared or pickled peppers.
 
1box (quart or liter) of chicken or vegetable stock
1 cups /500 ml. tomato juice
2 jars / 335 ml. each of red peppers
1 peeled large carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 tsp -1 tsp of ground cumin
1and 1/2 tsp sugar or 1 pkg. Splenda
1 and 1/2 tsp chili flakes, optional
Creme fraiche or sour cream (optional)
 
Sauté the chopped vegetables. Do not brown. Drain the peppers and blot dry. Chop.
Add cumin to the vegetables and chili, if you wish. Stir. Add peppers and sugar.
Add the 3 cups of stick and simmer. Add salt and peeper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Purée until smooth, and thin with a bit more stock, if necessary. If you wish it to be very elegant, pass the soup through a fine a sieve. I do not often bother to do this as I like the texture. I puree it very well in a blender. I use a Magic Bullet Platinum Pro, which I and our staff member Karin Pacione both really like. Chill.
 
Taste to correct seasoning before serving. It may taste blander when cold, and you may wish to add a bit of hot sauce, a dash of cayenne, and a bit more salt. Serve garnished with a dollop of crème fraiche or lemon slices.
 
Guests will love the tangy sweetness of the pepper contrasted with smoky cumin. I like to add a bit of chili too. The colour shouts sunshine. You can taste how healthful it is!
  
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