Chilled Red Bell Pepper Soup

This recipe is from Food & Wine August 2009, Folk- Festival Picnic. We served this soup and the quinoa salad at our home before last night’s Sheryl Crow concert.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 & 1/2 cups vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
creme fraiche to spoon on top

1. In a medium size heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the peppers, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat until the peppers are softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the peppers are very tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for several hours, until lightly chilled.

3. Serve chilled soup in small bowls with the creme fraiche.

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