Roasted Pepper Soup
Roasted Pepper Soup

If you're relegating soup to the back burner because you don't want to fuss with it, there's a simple solution.

Let your oven do the work.

As a first step in many hot soup recipes, you saute aromatic vegetables in a little oil. That's the flavor foundation for the soup. But it's also messy and requires your full attention.

You don't have to do it that way.

Instead, place the vegetables in a roasting pan, sprinkle on oil and seasonings, and roast for about 30 minutes. The vegetable flavors intensify; textures become tender, even buttery. You get the qualities you want in a soup without a lot of effort.

Once you've roasted the vegetables, spoon them into a pot; add the broth and simmer just long enough to blend the ingredients and bring the soup to serving temperature.

This technique is so easy to do you may get carried away.

Purchase small sizes, including small bell peppers or squash, and use only as many vegetables as you'd serve a twosome in one meal. Of course, if you're trying to get your partner to eat healthfully, this is an easy way to sneak in more vegetable servings.

If you want to combine vegetables with different cooking times, such as carrots and potatoes along with zucchini and tomatoes, stagger the roasting, adding the delicate ingredients halfway through.

The following roasted pepper soup is both beautiful and delicious. If you prefer a vegan version, switch to vegetable broth.

Roasted Pepper Soup Recipe

Makes 2 servings.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1 small yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1 ear corn, kernels removed (1/2 cup)

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 shallot, chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed dried oregano

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon medium-hot chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon minced chives, optional

Tortilla chips, optional

Place red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, corn kernels, garlic and shallot in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle on oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper. Drizzle on olive oil. Place in preheated 400-degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring once. Add tomatoes, stir and roast an additional 15 minutes, stirring once, or until vegetables are tender.

Spoon vegetables and pan juices into a large pot. Add chicken broth. Sprinkle on chives. Simmer soup for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Serve with tortilla chips if desired.

Each serving (without tortilla chips) has 175 calories; 8.5 grams total fat; 5 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 375 milligrams sodium and 2.5 grams dietary fiber.

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Roasted Pepper Soup

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