Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Tomato and Orzo Soup
2 large red bell peppers (about 20 oz)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion , chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large carrot , diced (3/4 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans Hunt’s Petite Diced Tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp Hunt’s Tomato Paste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar (if needed)
- 1 small sprig fresh basil , plus more chopped basil for serving
- 2/3 cup orzo
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
- Finely shredded parmesan cheese , for serving
Heat the broiler to high and arrange an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Place the bell peppers directly on a baking sheet line with aluminum foil. Roast peppers, turning occasionally, until they’ve blistered and blackened well on all sides, about 20 minutes. Remove peppers from oven and place on a cutting board then cover with a glass bowl (or alternately place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap). Once cool, peel peppers. Slice peppers in half and remove stem and seeds. Devein peppers then chop peppers. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and saute 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, tomatoes paste and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Taste and add sugar if desired. Add in basil sprig. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies have softened, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook orzo according to directions on package.
Remove basil sprig, stir half of the cream into the soup (at this point you can thin the soup with a little more broth if desired, I like mine fairly thick). Let soup cool slightly then puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender (only fill blender halfway full then remove center insert from lid and cover with a folded kitchen towel). Serve warm topping each serving with orzo*, a little more of the remaining cream, parmesan and chopped basil.
*You can add orzo to the whole pot of soup but I like to add it to each serving in case you have left over soup, that way it doesn’t become soggy as it will soak up a lot of liquid as it sits
Recipe source: Cooking Classy