Soup de Jour


Renie Steves, founder of Cuisine Concepts cooking school, shares her recipe for this bright and colorful soup—a dish that will make any spring table beautiful.

Yield: Serves 8-9

12 large, very ripe yellow bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Milk, if needed, to thin soup to desired consistency
Garnish of fresh thyme and pepper strips

1.    Preheat oven to 400°. Line two large baking sheets with heavy-duty foil. Remove seeds and white piths from peppers. Cut peppers into 1- to 2-inch strips and toss lightly with oil. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheets. Stirring occasionally, roast until peppers are tender and beginning to brown—about 50 minutes.
2.    Transfer peppers to a large saucepan. Add stock and cook to reduce liquid to about 4 cups. Cool slightly.
3.    Working in batches, puree mixture in blender. Add half-and-half. Reheat in saucepan and add salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Thin slightly with milk as desired.
4.    Garnish with fresh thyme and pepper strips.