Want to impress your nearest and dearest with a truly soigne soup? This easy, rich cream soup is straight out of The French Laundry kitchen and yet would not make Rachael Ray feel that she's overcomplicating her food. The key is a tool, a fine-mesh strainer, which creates a voluptuous texture. The bell peppers/capsicums are steeped in cream, then the mixture is blended until smooth and strained. It's a lovely way to prepare a soup. The result is so rich that I only recommend serving a small amount as a canape or starter, which makes it all the more enticing. The soup, which has an appealing pastel color, can be served hot or cold. If you serve it cold, be sure to taste it for seasoning when it's cold (cold food usually needs more aggressive seasoning than hot food). The same method works with nearly any vegetable, but the best choices are nongreen vegetables such as root vegetables, fennel, cauliflower, and mushrooms. The recipe makes the most heavenly mushroom soup you've ever tasted. Unlike the other vegetables, mushrooms should be seared and seasoned with freshly ground pepper and perhaps a pinch of curry.
- 1 pound red, orange, and/or yellow bell peppers/capsicums, seeded and cut into
- 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup heavy/double cream
- Kosher salt
- Lemon juice
Combine the vegetables and cream in a saucepan and bring the cream to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook the vegetables until tender, about 5 minutes. Puree, adding a three-finger pinch of salt and leaving the blender cap off and covering the blender with a kitchen towel, until the contents are thoroughly pureed, about 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add a squeeze of lemon. Pass the soup through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pan or bowl. Taste again for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve in 1/4 cup portions.
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