3 medium red bell peppers
1 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch crushed dried red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (fire roasted, if available), drained
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. sugar
1 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ cup 1% milk
3 tsp. commercially prepared pesto
3 Tbsp. fat-free sour cream
Serving size: about 1 cup (makes 3½ cups)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1. To prepare the peppers, place them whole directly on gas burners set to high. Using tongs, blacken the peppers on all sides. Remove the peppers from the flame, and place in a bowl or Ziploc plastic bag. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or zip up the bag. Set aside to cool. (For electric stoves and ovens, cut the peppers in half, and discard the seeds and membranes. Place the peppers on a foil-lined broiler pan, skin side up. Broil the peppers in the oven about 4 to 5 inches from the heat source, or until completely blackened. With tongs, remove the peppers and place in a bowl or Ziploc bag. Set aside.)
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper, and season with a little salt and pepper. Add the onion and garlic to a blender or food processor.
3. Once peppers are cooled, peel them by removing the charred skin with your fingers. Cut open each pepper, and discard the seeds and membrane (if you have broiled the peppers as noted above, you will skip this). Tear the peppers into four pieces, and add to the onion and garlic. Process the mixture until smooth. Add in the canned tomatoes, but only pulse with the food processor or blender once or twice, just enough to puree the tomatoes a bit while leaving visible pieces of tomato.
4. Add the pepper-tomato puree to a saucepot. Add in the thyme and sugar and stir. Add in the chicken broth and bring to a slow boil. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Add in the milk, and continue to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
6. To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls. Top with 1 tsp. of pesto per serving, and decorate with fat-free sour cream.
Amount per Serving
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 450 mg (without added salt)
Total Carbohydrate 24 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 14 g
Protein 5 g