Red Pepper Soup with Parmesan Toasts

Years ago, my sister-in-law had me over to her place for a Christmas card party. Along with her best friend and my mother-in-law, we spent the afternoon writing Christmas cards for friends and family. It was a really fun idea, especially since my Belgian brother-in-law cooked for us ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t remember everything we ate that day, but I do remember the Red Pepper Soup. I remember it being simple, fresh, and delicious with clean flavors. I also can’t remember if he gave me the recipe or if I just experimented on my own to recreate it (I recently found a half-torn piece of paper with barely legible recipe ingredients scribbled down). What matters is this is one of my favorite soups ever. It’s delicious on its own or makes a great pairing with grilled cheese, instead of the usual tomato soup. My favorite way to eat it is served with easy-peasy Parmesan toasts like I’ve done here. Something about this soup transports me to my happy place. It evokes a feeling of sitting at a little outdoor cafe in the spring time, a light breeze in the air, sipping on sparkling water, and eating this bright soup along side it…..ahhhhhh!

Red Pepper Soup Ingredients

As mentioned in this post for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, I recommend an immersion blender, also called a hand blender. If you don’t have one you can always use a regular blender. But immersion blenders are very affordable and in my opinion, are a great investment. I only use it about 3-4 times a year, but that’s worth way more than the price. This is the one I use, which I’ve had for almost 10 years. 

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And all you need for crunchy, satisfying Parmesan toasts are three simple ingredients: bread, cheese, & butter. Were three more beautiful words ever uttered??

Parmesan Toasts Ingredients

Start by washing the red peppers, then slice each in half. Remove the seeds and white parts on the inside, then cut into long thin slices. Afterwards, peel then finely dice the shallots. Finally, mince the garlic cloves (or use a garlic press). That’s the extent of prep in this recipe – easy right??

Melt a stick of unsalted butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and stir frequently, allowing them to cook for 2 minutes. Mmm, the smells these 2 ingredients create is heavenly!

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Next add the red peppers and garlic. Stir frequently, allowing the vegetables to cook for another 2 minutes.

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Add the kosher salt, black pepper, and paprika (I like using a Smoked Sweet Spanish paprika). Stir to combine. Then add the box of chicken broth. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Then remove the cover, turn off the heat, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

While the soup cools, preheat the oven to 300 degrees to make the Parmesan Toasts. Cut the baguette into 1/2 inch slices, then grate the Parmesan (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup total). Lightly butter each of the baguette slices then lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 4 minutes, until lightly toasted. Take the bread out of the oven and sprinkle with grated parmesan. Bake for another 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted. I’m such a sucker for bread and cheese. 

 

By now the soup should be cooled, so it’s time to process into a smooth liquid. Use the immersion blender for about 2-3 minutes to get it to a smooth consistency. Or spoon it in batches into a blender to process. Be very careful if you are using a blender – fill your blender only about half way and make sure the soup is close to room temp before blending, otherwise it could blow!

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After processing the soup, add the heavy cream and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine and you’re done. Serve with the parmesan toasts and chopped Italian parsley for garnish. Enjoy and unwind ๐Ÿ™‚

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Red Pepper Soup with Parmesan Toasts
Serves 4
A refreshing and delicious Red Pepper Soup, made with simple ingredients and served with easy, crunchy Parmesan Toasts!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 red bell peppers, cut into thin slices
  2. 3 shallots, finely diced
  3. 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed with garlic press
  4. 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  5. 32 ounces (1 quart box) chicken broth
  6. 1 teaspoon paprika
  7. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  9. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  10. 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  11. Italian parsley, for garnish
Parmesan Toasts
  1. 1 baguette
  2. 2-3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1/2 - 3/4 cup freshly grated Paremsan
Instructions
  1. Melt unsalted butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the diced shallots and stir frequently, allowing them to cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sliced red peppers and pressed garlic. Stir frequently, allowing the vegetables to cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the kosher salt, black pepper, and paprika. Stir well to combine.
  4. Add chicken broth. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the cover, turn off the heat, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. While the soup cools, preheat the oven to 300 degrees to make the Parmesan Toasts.
  6. Cut the baguette into 1/2 inch slices, then lightly butter each slice. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 4 minutes, until lightly toasted.
  7. Take the bread out of the oven and sprinkle with shredded parmesan. Bake for another 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and set aside.
  8. Use the immersion blender for about 2-3 minutes to process the soup to create a smooth consistency. Or spoon it in batches into a blender to process. Be very careful if you are using a blender - fill your blender only about half way and make sure the soup is close to room temp before blending.
  9. After processing the soup, add the heavy cream and balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine. Serve with the Parmesan toasts and chopped Italian parsley for garnish.
Notes
  1. Tip: Any paprika will work, but I tend to use a Smoked Sweet Spanish paprika.
Love & Food ForEva http://loveandfoodforeva.com/
A crisp and refreshing Red Pepper Soup served with easy Parmesan Toasts!

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