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Spicy Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

I took my first cooking class the other day, given by a chef friend of mine and another friend who is a nutritionist.  It was truly amazing.  Not only did we learn some cool stuff about eating right, we watched the chef prepare a whole bunch of delicious and incredibly healthy dishes.  And then we got to eat them!

One of the dishes was this soup, which I love so much I’ve already made it 3 times.  I’ve made a few modifications for myself, but it’s truly a yummy soup made from just veggies.

I use my immersion blender for this one, but I’ve been thinking.  Should I invest in a really good blender?  I mean, I’m considering a really good one– like a Vita-Mix.  They have one at Bed Bath & Beyond that I could use my 20% off coupon on, but they are still redonkulously expensive.  Any suggestions out there?  The other reason I’ve been craving a new blender is that I’m doing another cleanse (this one personalized for me by the nutritionist, and AMAZINGLY good) and I’m drinking 2 “shakes” a day.  I think they’d be a little smoother if I had a better blender.

So, onto the recipe.  Check this soup, baby:

Spicy Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 Swiss chard leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 4 cups (32 oz) organic 100% tomato juice
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • avocado slices for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, bell peppers, carrots, chard, basil, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Cook until the vegetables are very soft and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When vegetables are tender, add the tomato juice.  Stir well and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat and carefully blend with an immersion or standard blender.  Purée until smooth.

Return the pot and soup to medium heat and add the balsamic vinegar.  Cook until soup is heated through and vinegar is well-incorporated.  Serve with avocado slices for garnish.

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Many thanks to our fantastic chef Pam for the essentials of this recipe!

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  • June 18, 2010, 9:35 pm Erika Wright

    This looks great. I can’t wait to make it. I’m so jealous–I really want to take a cooking class.

    We’ve been considering the blender issue and I looked into that one. Not only is it crazy expensive, but the base it kind of giant. A friend recommended this one:
    KitchenAid KSB354OB 3-Speed Classic Blender with 40-Ounce Glass Jar, Onyx Black
    We still just have our crappy Oster.

    Reply
  • June 18, 2010, 9:39 pm bethpc

    Hey, that’s what I have! A crappy Oster! Did you get it for your wedding? It’s a classic wedding gift blender.

    Reply
    • June 19, 2010, 8:36 pm Erika Wright

      I think we bought it ourselves back when we were into chocolate milk shakes!!! I kid you not. That’s why we got it. Those days are gone, replaced by acai and goji berry smoothies.

      Reply
  • June 20, 2010, 5:31 pm Kristen

    That soup sounds and looks de-lish! Is it super spicy? That’s my only concern…

    Reply
  • June 20, 2010, 5:40 pm bethpc

    No, it’s not really that spicy. You could start with just a hint of red pepper flakes, if you wanted to be sure not to make it spicy. Or, if you don’t want it spicy at all, you can leave them out. But when I first tasted it, I thought, “This is the PERFECT level of spicy.” And I am not spice-tolerant at all.

    Reply
  • June 21, 2010, 7:43 am kristen

    Thanks — I will definitely try it!

    Reply