Since the beginning of fall, I’ve wanted to post a few recipes of my favourite soups.   In the cold months, I usually cook lots of soup and chili.  Not only is tasty and filling but it will warm you right up.

Well January rolled around and I decided to get serious about losing those last 8 pesky pregnancy pounds that just won’t seem to go away.    It was virtually impossible to diet in November and December because of all the baking and cooking I tend to do for the holidays.   So I decided to stop torturing myself and take a break from weight lost over the holidays and get serious once the New Year rolls around.  Yeah…I know, EVERYONE resolves to do this every January.

This is one of my healthy meals I’ve made so far this year.    Let me tell you….I love a red pepper bisque,   but all of that heavy cream and butter had to go.    I made a light version and served it up with pan seared steak and a salad.  I’m a firm believer that “diet” food should be just as tasty as regular foods, so I always set out to optimize the flavor without excess fat.    For those of you who are not on a diet, feel free to replace the milk with heavy cream for a richer soup, but I promise you, it’s not necessary.   Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

3 whole red peppers, roasted*

1 tbsp canola oil

1/2 cup celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small onion, chopped

2 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/2 cup 2% milk

fresh basil for garnish

*I cut the peppers in half and removed the seeds and membranes.  I then broiled the peppers for 12 minutes or until the skin is blackened.   Remove from oven and place in either a ziplock or cover in an airtight container and let sit for 10 minutes.   After 10 minutes you should be able to peel the skin with ease, discard.  Cut pepper into strips, set aside.

Heat canola oil in pot over medium heat.  Add celery, onions, carrots and garlic, cook until softened.  Add chicken stock, cayenne pepper, paprika, basil and roasted peppers, bring to a boil, then cook for 5 additional minutes.   Add salt, sugar and milk.  Remove from heat.

Place soup in a blender and puree.   Taste, adjust salt if necessary.   Serve warm, using fresh basil as garnish.