Last week I spent the waning hours of sunshine lingering at the condo pool where we spent our vacation in Orlando. As I read my book, luxuriating in the peaceful surroundings, I suddenly heard a child’s terrified scream from the shallow end of the pool. En masse, all the adults stood to see what happened, ready to spring into action.
What we saw was a pink swimsuit, a flurry of dark braids, and what appeared to be a flock of feathers, going at each other. A pair of ducks had apparently chosen this pool for their evening dip, nearly landing on the little girl’s head. Before long, the wide-eyed child went from screams of fright to peals of laughter as the two ducks (I’m assuming Donald and Daffy?) quacked and paddled around their new friend.
Life is like that, full of surprises.
This recipe for yellow pepper soup was one of life’s small surprises for me. My friend of many years, Maxine Bland, served it for lunch on her pretty back porch on a beautiful day in Merritt Island, Florida. I can’t say I was thrilled when she announced we were having Yellow Pepper Soup, as this was years ago, and I’d never tasted or seen a yellow pepper! However, I took one sip, and was transported. The delightful, soothing combination of subtle flavors left me craving more, and Maxine was gracious enough to share her recipe. I modified it just slightly.
(As an aside, I wrote a chapter about Maxine and her mother-in-law, Bernie Bland, who is co-founder of Teen Missions, in my book, Real Magnolias. Two women whose faith and perseverance I deeply admire.)
It is fun to serve this soup and watch the expressions from guests. They always ask for seconds, and then, for the recipe. Even people who don’t like peppers (like my husband) love it. It is smooth and slightly sweet (thanks to the addition of a sweet potato and bit of maple syrup), mingled with the crisp fresh taste of yellow peppers. When you swirl in a tablespoon of rich heavy cream, it adds a buttery richness and makes a beautiful presentation.
Becky’s Creamy Yellow Pepper Soup
Serves 6 to 8
4 Yellow Peppers, medium sized, seeded, rough chopped and sautéed until just tender. (You can also roast them for a bit more flavor, peeling off the charred skin before seeding and chopping.)
1 cooked (baked, boiled or nuked) sweet potato, peeled and rough-chopped
3 c. organic vegetable broth (you can use chicken broth as well, but in this recipe, I really prefer vegie broth)
1/2 onion, rough chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 T. maple syrup (or brown sugar)
1/4 t. fresh grated nutmeg
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Cream, 6 Tablespoons (1 T for each of 6 bowls) (Non-dairy, unsweetened creamer for vegans)
Into a blender, toss all the ingredients except salt & pepper, nutmeg and cream. Blend until as smooth as you can get it and cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 10 to 15 minutes until any raw onion and garlic taste is gone, and it is heated through. Add salt and pepper and nutmeg checking for seasonings, adjusting to your liking. Serve in bowls, swirling 1 T. heavy cream into each bowl, gently, using the tip of a spoon just before serving.