Sweet Red Pepper-Beet Soup
This tangy chilled puree gets its striking color from earthy beets and red bell peppers. They're cooked with shallots and then blended into a silken soup. Goat cheese, a traditional partner to beets, lends creaminess. A squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sea salt heighten the flavors.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 3 red bell peppers (1 1/2 pounds), stems, ribs, and seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 red beets (1 pound), trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup water
- 3 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent and tender, about 4 minutes. Add bell peppers and beets, and stir to coat. Add water and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Cover partially, and reduce heat. Simmer until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.
Remove saucepan from heat, and let cool slightly. Stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, puree mixture in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, and refrigerate until chilled, up to overnight.
Divide soup evenly among 6 to 8 bowls. Sprinkle each with goat cheese. Season with pepper, and serve with lemon wedges.