“We were on a long-hoped-for trip to Paris last year. Late, on a cold March night, my wife and I were having little luck finding an open restaurant serving soup – for which we had a craving. Just as we were going to give up and return to our apartment we found a Basque restaurant that was open, it had soup on the outside chalkboard but was about to close. We went in, had a glass of wine, and asked the waiter if we could have some soup “takeout” since they were closing. It was clear we had committed some kind of faux pas, but the manager accommodated us and sent us on our way with a quart of Yellow Pepper Soup. It was memorably delightful. It had a delicate, yet subtly complex favor. Since returning home, I have tried to replicate this soup and have finally come close in doing so with this recipe.”
6 -8 largeyellow bell peppers
1 diced sweet onion, such as valdalia -softball sized
5 cloves of grated garlic (use microplane)
2 mediumyukon gold potatoes, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cupwhite wine
6 cupschicken stock, better than bouillion brand is recommended
1 teaspoonground cumin
1⁄2 teaspooncayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoonsea salt
1 teaspoonblack pepper
Dice onion into fine pieces – about 1.5 cups.
Remove stem, seeds and white pith from yellow peppers, then dice into 1/2" pieces.
Grate garlic cloves, using microplaner.
Dice potatoes into 1/4" pieces.
Melt butter in kettle until bubbling, add onions just before butter begins to brown, stirring occasionally until onions begin to brown and fond begins to form on pan. It’s OK to use more butter as you prefer.
Add and stir in grated garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant – about 30 seconds.
Add white wine and cook until wine is reduced by 1/2.
If using Better than Bouillon to make chicken stock, add 2 tablespoons of the bouillon to the onion-garlic-wine mixture as wine is reducing and stir until combined.
Add 6 cups of water (for Better than Bouillon) or chicken stock.
Add diced potatoes, cummin, bay leaves, cayenne pepper.
Bring to boil, reduce to slightly rolling simmer, then cover.
Add water or stock as necessary.
Simmer until potatoes separate when poked with a fork.
Remove bay leaves.
Use an immersion blender to blend ingredients in kettle until uniformly blended – a somewhat velvety texture.
If you do not have an immersion blender, use a tabletop blender or food processor but you will probably have to blend batches of the soup one at a time to avoid spillage or being burned by splatter. BE CAREFUL the soup is very hot. return soup to kettle.
Cover and simmer soup for about an hour to let flavors combine.
Add sea or Kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve hot. This soup gains flavor and complexity each day it is stored in the refrigerator, so consider making this soup in advance and serving it the next day.