Sweet Pepper Soup

10 . 01 . 11

Today is one of those days where words seem to fail. Sentences and ideas come together, but nothing feels right. I’m saying something, but I’m not really saying anything. I’m dabbling in themes that seem important, but they aren’t authentic. I’m not feeling provocative, compelling, or wise. More exhaustion, frustration, acceptance, relief.

I stop fighting the resistance and set aside the notebook. I rest my head back on the couch we bought second-hand a few weeks ago, laughing to myself when I remember how we almost broke my finger in the doorframe trying to move it into the apartment. Shaun is in the kitchen, I can hear him hammering planks of plywood for shelves in the pantry. Pickin’ on Coldplay plays on the desktop computer on the tall table and Sadie is asleep by my feet. The wind and the sun come through the screens and effortlessly toss shadows of the maple tree across the hardwood.

Take off your battle fatigues for a second, Kelsey, let go of trying to write something big, inspiring, creative. This is all I have to offer today: say I love you more. That’s it. Pretty simple. Say it more. Say it right now, not later. It’s the only moment that counts. I’m not the first to impress upon it and I won’t be the last. Don’t assume people know how much they mean to you. Make an effort to tell them as much and as often as you can. In an instant, you may wish it were the only thing you ever did in this world, and all the other words that failed will not matter. Who will you say I love you to, today?

What better way to say I love you than with a bowl of soup. It definitely makes the Billboard top-forty. And my take on this Alice Waters’ treasure, well I have to say (and Shaun agrees), this may be the best Happyolks recipe to date. Sweet red, yellow, and orange peppers are still coming in our local CSA box, but you could always use the more traditional looking organic bell peppers from the store too. Greens are off limits, not sweet enough.

Sweet Pepper Soup 

  • 1 pound of sweet peppers, seeds and veins removed
  • 1 small hot red pepper (optional)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsb olive oil, for sauteing
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chives, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, bring olive oil to medium-high heat. Toss in sliced onions and peppers, sauté for about 10 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring frequently. When softened add garlic and thyme, stirring to coat and cooking for another 4-5 minutes. Pour vegetable broth over the mixture, sprinkle in the rice, add a bit of apple cider vinegar, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool for a few minutes while you prepare the blender. Transfer a few ladles of soupy-pepper mixture to the blender at a time, until all of the soup has been pureed. Serve with a few teaspoons of fresh chives and a warm country levain loaf.

  • Looks Fantastic!!! I Love You More!!!

  • Love the first shot that highlights “velevty” in the book. That’s a happy, fuzzy feeling word for sure. Soup looks lovely and warming. Although I’d expect nothing less from my homegirl Alice Waters. I totally imagine her and I as cronies in another lifetime. Often.

  • The soup looks really good and I totally love this post, sorry to hear you nearly broke your finger while moving the couch… life sometimes needs a step back to figure out what we might do or say, some form of relaxation, I hope coldplay’s song did the job :)

  • Ahhh…you are a breath of fresh air. (not to be confused with fresh of breath air which I originally typed.). Loving this posts and its moody (in the good sense) images. So lovely!

  • Kelsey, I love the raw emotion of this post and totally agree with the sentiment. Sometimes I feel like I tell Matt I love him 100 times a day just because…why not? I can’t think of better ‘I love you’ in the form of food than a gorgeous bowl of soup. xoxo

  • This looks great, and I can’t wait to try it. Which Alice Waters cookbook did the original recipe come from?

  • This look great, and I can’t wait to try it. Which Alice Waters cookbook did the original recipe come from?

  • Great recipe- love that last shot! I’m good at saying, “I love you.” Sometimes I have to remind myself to soften up a bit and show “I love you” in my actions. Life is busy and hectic at times, it takes discipline to remember to be tender. :) Thanks for another thoughtful post.

  • Gosh, this looks delightful. I am drowning in sweet peppers from my CSA right now and I generally don’t love them so I don’t cook them. But this recipe has me excited to use them up. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

  • This looks absolutely delicious! Cannot wait to make it this Fall.

  • Funny, I made a giant batch of tomato and red pepper soup today. Yours looks incredible. Today I told Cookie that I love her but I’ll try to say “I love you” to a human tomorrow. :)

  • A simple message but such an important one. My mind has been leaning towards soup lately and this one looks perfect. Thank you.

  • I love thickening soups with brown rice! It gives such a nice texture. This sounds like such a perfect combination of ingredients, I’ll have to give it a go :-) And PS. You are so right about saying “I love you”!

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