Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean Soup


"This is a SIMPLE SOUP, completely dependent on the quality of the broth." That's what the cookbook says and I couldn't agree more.  I followed the recipe, but then again, I didn't follow it.  The original recipe called for canned ingredients.  I went for the home cooked approach.  I've written the original recipe, but I've added in what I did.  You pick the one that fits your needs best.  Okay. Let's COOK!

Recipe from 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains
Serves 4 to 6 servings

  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 store-bought or home cooked roasted red bell peppers, julienned
  • 1 1/2 cups canned or home cooked cannellini or other white beans
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 basil leaves, cut in shreds

Heat the broth to simmering.  Add the bell pepper strips and cooked white beans.  Heat through.  Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.  Pour into soup bowls.  Sprinkle the basil leaves on top.  Serve hot.

Here's the Home Cooked Method

  • 2 cups dried Northern White Beans
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • water

Put all the ingredients in a pressure cooker and cover with 2 inches of water.  By cover I mean from the top of the beans to the water surface, should measure 2 inches.  Do NOT measure from the bottom of the pressure cooker; that will not be enough water.  Moving on.

Secure lid and lock, put the pressure regulator on top, set heat to medium high.  When pressure regulator begins to chatter, turn heat down to medium-low and set cooking timer for 40 minutes.

Heat oven to 450ºF.

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded & roughly chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded & roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt & fresh ground pepper

Place the chopped pepper on cookie sheet, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.  Toss with hands to evenly coat the peppers.  Season with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

(I had Spinach Bread dough in the frig; so I quickly shaped up a loaf for dinner and let it rise while the peppers roasted.  I already had the pizza stone in the oven so it would be hot too when the peppers finished.)

Finally, I had

  • 4 cups of homemade chicken broth in the freezer
  • fresh basil from the garden

I defrosted the frozen broth in the microwave, then went out to pick the basil.

When the peppers were finish roasting, I slid the bread onto the pizza stone, set the timer for 30 minutes, then removed the peppers from the cookie sheet and set them aside in a medium saucepan.

When the bean timer went off, I removed the pressure cooker from the heat.  And allowed it to cool down on it's own accord.

I poured the cold chicken broth into the saucepan with the peppers and heated it up over medium heat.  When the pressure dropped on the pressure cooker, about 10 minutes later, I carefully removed the lid and scooped out 2 cups of cooked beans.  I was careful to avoid the bay leaf. Added the cooked beans to the hot broth.  Tasted for salt and pepper.  Poured into soup bowls and topped with shredded basil.

The bread timer went off at that same time!  We had a steaming hot loaf of spinach bread on the side. It was very good to dip into this brothy soup.  Any bread would have worked, really.

There.  That was our dinner last night.  All fresh, made at home in about an hour, with plenty leftover for lunches.