Pouring a cup of sweet bell pepper soup for a light dinner. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

This is a fabulous all-purpose soup method, here used with sweet bell peppers. But you can use it for just about any vegetable—asparagus, mushroom, pea, carrot. I learned it from Thomas Keller and wrote about it in his French Laundry Cookbook. Then I wrote about it again in Ruhlman’s Twenty because it’s such a versatile method. It’s very rich, so I only serve about 1/3 cup per person. This soup makes a great appetizer. (And a reminder: my partner in tools, Mac Dalton, suggested running a sale on our soup and serving spoons through this October.) Also, if you’re in Cincinnati tomorrow, come see me at Books by the Banks, where I’ll be signing my book, In Short Measures, a collection of novellas, reviewed today, happily, by Tara Laskowski. Have a great weekend, all.

Sweet Bell Pepper Soup

  • 1 pound/455 grams red, orange, and/or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch/5-centimeter pieces
  • 1 cup/240 milliliters heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon juice
  1. Combine the peppers and cream in a saucepan and bring the cream to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook the peppers until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add a three-finger pinch of salt, and purée—be sure to remove the center blender cap and cover the hole with a kitchen towel—until the contents are thoroughly puréed, about 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
  2. 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.


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© 2015 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2015 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.



5 Wonderful responses to “Sweet Bell Pepper Soup”

  • William Lundy

    What liquids do you recommend instead of dairy? I’m not necessarily a fan of “soy milk” or the like, and am wondering about a stock – maybe?

    • Michael Ruhlman

      that’s a tough one. it requires fat. so coconut milk would work, but more acid because coconut milk is sweet. but that might make a really incredible soup with sweet veg, bell peppers, corn, pumpkin. need to try this now that I’m thinking it.

  • Allen

    Made 2 batches of aged eggnog, I must try and remember to add orange peel to the bourbon for next years batch, perhaps a dash of bitters right before drinking it. – I’ll forget I even thought of it.
    This year was a little vanilla been, nutmeg and some very good sipping rum.


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