Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Orange Cream

I made this soup for Philip and Bob Wilson during a visit to Boulder, Colorado. It was the first course of a meal that included Philip’s Chicken with Asiago, Prosciutto, and Mushrooms. It was also the last meal we cooked together. I’ll always miss cooking with him.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Orange Cream
Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Orange Cream
1 T olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
About a half bunch of green onions, diced
15- or 16-oz jar roasted red peppers in water
1 t sugar
2 C low-salt chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth or water to make a vegetarian version)
1/2 C orange juice
2 T whipping cream
3/4 t grated orange peel
Handful thinly-sliced fresh basil leaves
4 whole basil leaves, for garnish

Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and green onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the red peppers with their liquid and sugar, cook for a couple more minutes. Add the broth and simmer for another 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup (or cool slightly and use a regular blender, pureeing the soup in batches).

Bring soup to a light simmer and add the orange juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, whisk the orange peel with the whipping cream until it thickens a little bit. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle the cream over it in a pretty pattern, then sprinkle with the fresh basil. Garnish with a whole basil leaf.