Cool down a hot summer night with this Chilled Red Bell Pepper and Tomato Soup topped with a big fistful of fresh summer herbs.d Tomato Soup with Fresh Herbs.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
- 3 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed, then cut into ⅓‑inch dice))
- 1 (15-oz) can chopped tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cup vegetable stock (plus more if necessary)
- ground white pepper (as needed for seasoning)
- 2 celery spears (cut into ⅓‑inch dice)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- ½ clove garlic (minced)
- 1 cup assorted chopped, fresh herbs (such as basil, marjoram, parsley, and/or tarragon)
- ½ cup sour cream
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add two-thirds of the diced bell pepper, tomatoes with the juice, ½ teaspoon salt, bay leaves, ground cumin, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the red bell peppers have softened and the tomatoes have cooked down slightly about 10 minutes.
Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for 15 more minutes.
Once the red bell peppers are very soft, remove the pan from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Using a hand blender, purée the soup, or use a blender and purée in batches. Adjust consistency with more stock if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper.
Allow the soup to cool about five minutes. While still slightly warm stir in the diced celery, remaining diced red pepper, lemon zest, and garlic. Set aside until it comes to room temperature and then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
When ready to serve remove the soup from the refrigerator. Stir well, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper. Divide the soup among serving bowls, sprinkle over a generous amount of chopped herbs. Garnish with a dollop sour cream. Serve immediately.