8 Large Red or green bell peppers to use as serving containers for the finished soup
2 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Cup Finely chopped onion
1âˆ’1/2 Pound Sweet potatoes; peeled and cut into 1âˆ’inch cubes
1âˆ’1/2 Pound Red bell peppers; cored, seeded and diced
6 Cup Chicken stock
1/2 Teaspoon Dried thyme
1 Bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Cup Finely diced yellow or red bell pepper; optional garnish
1/2 Cup Plain lowâˆ’fat yogurt; optional garnish
TO PREPARE THE BELL PEPPERS:
Cut a wafer thin slice off the bottom of each pepper so it will sit straight on the plate. Slice the tops off each pepper and scoop out the seeds. Reserve the hollowed out peppers to hold the finished soup.
TO MAKE THE SOUP:
In a 4âˆ’quart saucepan over moderate heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, cover and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened.
Add the sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer, over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
TO FINISH THE SOUP AND SERVE:
Strain the solids from the liquid and return the liquid to the saucepan. Discard the bay leaf. In a food processor or blender, puree the vegetables until smooth and return them to the liquid in the saucepan.
Bring the soup to a simmer; season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into the hollowed out peppers and garnish with the diced yellow or red bell peppers and a dollop of yogurt, if desired.
Red pepper soup
4 red peppers
50ml/2fl oz vegetable oil
1â„2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1â„2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon mild curry paste
1 red onion, sliced
1 leek, white part only, sliced
1 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce
salt and freshly ground
Cut the peppers into quarters. Remove the seeds and membrane. Grill until the skin blackens and blisters. Place on a cutting board, cover with a tea towel and allow to cool before removing and discarding the skin.
Mark a small cross on the top of each tomato. Put in a bowl and cover with boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain and cool. Skin, halve and remove the seeds.
Heat the oil in a large heavy pan over a low heat, and add the marjoram, mixed herbs, garlic and curry paste. Stir for 1 minute until aromatic, then add the onion and leek. Cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the cabbage, tomatoes, peppers and 1.2 litres/2pt water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.