Sweet Bell Pepper & Basil Soup
A simple, versatile soup for summer or fall! See variations at the bottom for prep and flavor options.
- 6-8 yellow, red and/or orange sweet bell peppers, deseeded and chopped into rough 1-2” pieces
- 2-3 cups of stock (partially using water is fine too)
- 3 Tbsp Garlic EVOO, House Blend EVOO or Olio Santo EVOO for cooking
- 2-3 Tbsp Basil EVOO for finishing (or try Rosemary in the fall or winter)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Options for garnish or blending in: North Beach Blend, Jalapeno Lime, Ferry Building Blend, Za'atar (adds a great crunch!), sprouts, micro greens, arugula, fresh basil, cilantro and/or mint
Heat a large pot or saucepan over medium high heat. Add Garlic, House or Olio Santo olive oil, peppers and any other veggies/fruit you’re using (see variations below), and stir in a generous pinch of salt - everything should sizzle nicely.
Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring only occasionally so that the peppers sit on the bottom and caramelize (turn down the heat if burning) - this builds amazing flavor. Deglaze the pan if starting to darken too much with small splashes of stock, water or even white wine.
Once the peppers are caramelized on the edges and softened, add the stock and, if your veggies still have any crunch, bring everything to a just simmer until veggies are totally tender - this will help you get a lusciously silky smooth soup - then turn off heat.
Puree with an emulsion blender (or blend in batches), adding additional stock or water if needed, and a drizzle of Basil EVOO, salt and pepper to taste. If you want the soup hotter, you can transfer it back into the pot and reheat before serving. Serve in bowls with another drizzle of Basil EVOO on top and garnish with micro greens, sprouts or whatever peppery salad green or herbs you have on hand. Great with fresh bread, cheese, or grilled cheese sandwiches!
- Add in any or some of the following veggies to caramelize with the peppers to build a more dynamic flavor and add more natural sweetness and aromatics: couple of carrots, 1 apple, ½ onion, 1 clove garlic, ½ fennel bulb.
- You can also roast your peppers/veggies in the oven at 375F until soft, about 25-35 minutes. Or grill your peppers whole and then wipe off the charred skin once cool. This is a good way to prep ahead of time or utilize a heat source while you’re making something else. Then you can make your soup immediately or store the cooked veggies in the fridge until you’re ready.
- Add Hot Chili, Jalapeño, or Habanero EVOO while cooking or drizzling over at the end for a spicy kick and to boost the peppery flavor and complexity! Or Rosemary is wonderful variation if you like herbs more than spice!
- Want it sweeter? Add a peeled, chopped apple in with the peppers!