I'm posting the below recipe by popular demand. ;-) It's an obvious choice to add to this blog's catalog of "winter soup" recipes. 8-) Enjoy!
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
(Source: Simple American Cooking. Reprinted in the Williams-Sonoma 1994 Winter Holiday Catalog. I've tweaked the recipe slightly to make it healthier. See notes for details.)
Ingredients: 2 – 2½ lb. red peppers (6-7) 3 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil 1½ c. yellow onion, chopped 1 c. vegetable broth (NOTE: You may use chicken broth, if you prefer. Regardless, I suggest using low-sodium organic broth, which can be found in the organic packaged foods aisle of most supermarkets.) 2 c. water 1 tsp. salt or to taste Pinch of Cayenne pepper 8 - 10 fresh basil leaves ⅓ to ½ c. heavy cream (NOTE: I strongly recommend substituting with non-dairy creamer or plain soy milk for obvious reasons! ;-) Using either creamer or soy milk is a great healthy way to add creaminess/thickness to soups without sacrificing on taste. If you haven't done this before, try it sometime. You'll be truly amazed how great it tastes!)
Directions: Cut peppers in half lengthwise; remove stems, seeds & ribs. Lay cut side down on baking sheet; place under broiler. Roast until skins blister & blacken, 15-20 minutes. Remove & cover with foil. Let cool 10-15 minutes. Peel off skins, chop into medium pieces, & set aside. (Note: This can be done the night before. Refrigerate the pieces in a covered dish. Add the pepper juice to the soup as well.)
Warm oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & sauté until translucent. Add broth, water, salt & cayenne. Cover partially & bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15–20 minutes. Add roasted peppers & cook for 10 minutes more.
Drain peppers & onion in colander, reserving liquid. In batches, puree peppers & onions in food processor or blender. Return puree & reserved liquid to saucepan and reheat. Cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes. Stir in lemon juice & cook 1 minute more. Taste & adjust seasonings. Stir in 1/3 of shredded basil. Serve & float 1-2 Tbsp. cream on top & sprinkle with remaining basil. Enjoy!