Paprika & Red Pepper Soup with Pistachio Puree
These are very hot little firecrackers from the orient. They can be used to add spice to almost any oriental dish. They dry very easily and can be stored and used this way for a long time.
Yields 4 Servings
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, stemmed, seeded and diced
- 1-2 fresh green Thai or serrano chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ cup unsalted shelled pistachios
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or basil
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers and chile to taste. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables release some of their juices and the onion is lightly brown around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with paprika, salt and cardamom and cook, stirring, until the spices are very fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add pistachios and broth (or water). Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat; let cool 5 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender (in batches if necessary) and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the soup to the pan.
- Whisk buttermilk and cream in a bowl; stir into the soup. Gently warm over low heat. Serve sprinkled with cilantro (or basil).