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Chilled Red Pepper Soup W/ Basil
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    Chilled Red Pepper Soup W/ Basil

  • 4 large red bell peppers (about 2 1/4 pounds total)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • Salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (optional)
  • Croutons:
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2 inch French bread cubes
  • Fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • Char peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Wrap in paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until brown on edges, about 6 minutes. Add bell peppers and 3 cups stock. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer peppers and onion to processor; puree. With machine running, add stock from saucepan and blend until smooth. Mix in dried red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add bread; stir until brown. Whisk cold soup to blend; thin with more stock if necessary. Tast and season if necessary. Spoon into bowls. Top with bread and basil.

    Serves 4.

    From:  Bon Appetiticon
    Posted By: Epicurious.com
    Post Date:   August 1993

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