Roasted red pepper soup with mozzarella
Preparation time: 2 hr and 10 min
4 red bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, chopped (2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
8 small fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut into quarters
4 slices crusty multigrain or whole wheat bread
1. Set oven control to broil. On rack in broiler pan, place red bell peppers. Broil with tops about 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, until skin is blistered and evenly browned. Place roasted peppers in large bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Cook onions and garlic in oil 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn brown; remove from heat.
3. Remove skin, stems, seeds and membranes from roasted peppers; cut peppers into strips. Into onion mixture, stir bell pepper strips, broth, water and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup of the basil. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.
4. In blender or food processor, place about one-third of the soup mixture. Cover; blend on high speed until smooth, stopping blender to scrape side if necessary. Pour into large bowl. Repeat 2 times more with remaining soup mixture.
5. Divide soup among 4 bowls, about 1 1/2 cups each. Top each serving with yellow bell pepper and mozzarella; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup basil. Serve with bread.