Recipe courtesy of John Pence and Caprial Pence

Chilled Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Avocado-Chile Salsa

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
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1 tablespoon extra-virgin oil

1 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cup Marsala

6 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced

2 1/2 cups rich chicken stock or vegetable stock, or more as needed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Avocado-Chile Salsa:

1/2 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 dried ancho chile, roasted and pulverized

2 avocados, cut into small dice

2 limes, juiced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

Cilantro sprigs, for garnish


  1. To make the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat until very hot. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the cumin and saute for 2 minutes longer. Add the Marsala and reduce until about 1/2 cup remains, about 4 minutes. Add the peppers and stock, decrease the heat to medium, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the cilantro and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. 
  2. Carefully puree the soup in a blender. Transfer the soup to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. (If the soup is too thick after chilling, thin it down with a bit more stock.) 
  3. Meanwhile, to prepare the salsa, combine the onion, garlic, chiles, and avocados in a bowl, and mix well. Add the lime juice, mix well, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. 
  4. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with the salsa, creme fraiche, and a cilantro sprig.