Golden Pepper Soup
In this soup, low-sodium chicken stock is infused with saffron; blended with wine, onion, garlic, celery, peppers, and spices; and then pureed. This pureed soup is good served either hot from the saucepan or chilled.
- 3 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock, skimmed of fat
- Generous pinch of saffron threads
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 large yellow bell peppers, seeded and diced (about 2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half or milk
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
For the Garnish
- Low-fat sour cream
Bring stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Add saffron; stir to dissolve. Turn off heat; let infuse while proceeding.
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add celery and bell peppers; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, 18 to 20 minutes.
Add wine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated. Add infused chicken stock, salt, and cumin. Bring to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
Let soup cool slightly; puree, in batches if necessary, in a food processor or blender (do not fill blender more than halfway). Return to clean saucepan; stir in half-and-half or milk, and then reheat gently (do not boil; the mixture will curdle). Season with black pepper and cayenne to taste. Serve hot or chilled, garnished with sour cream.