Chilled Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup

yellowI would be the first to admit that I cannot leave well enough alone. Take this soup for example. It’s pretty darn great just as it is — a refreshing, even comforting, meld of sweet yellow peppers, a hint of smoke from the roasting, the warm note of rosemary, the sharply pleasant heat from the jalapeno, finished with a bright touch of lime. But when I make it I think about the other yellow pepper soup I’ve made — the one that’s accompanied by an orange pepper soup, which are then slipped side-by-side into a single bowl for an elegant yin and yang effect. I put the question to you — too much? Ridiculously over the top for a weeknight dinner? Or are we having FUN yet? You decide. And while you are mulling, make this lovely soup, which was adapted from Fine Cooking. It made the folks at USBG happy in August 2014. And get to taste the soup.

Makes about one quart of soup

8 yellow bell peppers
1/3 C extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeded
1 T chopped fresh rosemary
2 C lower-salt chicken broth
Generous pinch of granulated sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of a half lime, more as needed
1/4 C snipped fresh chives (1/4 inch long), optional

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400̊F. Put the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven, turning every 15 minutes, until browned and wrinkled all over, 45 to 60 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven, cover with a dishtowel, and set aside to cool. Seed, peel, and cut the peppers into quarters.

Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeño, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the peppers and any accumulated juices, broth, sugar, ½ t salt, 1/4 t black pepper, and 1½ C water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor or use an immersion blender. Refrigerate the soup for at least 3 hours or overnight. Once chilled, add the lime juice and season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in chilled bowls, sprinkled with the chives. Finish each serving with a drizzle of olive oil.

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