Despite the fact I have now lived in Sweden for six years, I still have not adjusted to the reality that summer can be downright cold. It hovered in the low 60s for much longer than I appreciated, and then suddenly we had three weeks of temperatures that reached up to the 80s. It was a welcome change, but since the weather can swing like a pendulum from day to day, it’s nice to have some options for soup that work served either warm, or cold. This easy-to-make soup made from bell peppers fits the bill.
This happens to be one of five-year old’s favorite meals and she always requests the leftovers for breakfast. Before I give the impression that this is magic soup for children, I should mention that her 7-year old sister does not rave about it, but is keen enough to eat it without a fuss. Bell peppers are paprika (PAP-rik-uh) in Swedish, and the original recipe calls for green bell peppers. Since I tend to find them bitter, I prefer the taste and vibrant color that comes from using red, orange, or yellow peppers. Choose whatever suits your taste.
Bell pepper soup (paprikasoppa) adapted from Vår Kok Bok
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 bell peppers (green, red, orange, or yellow….I prefer anything aside from green), chopped
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock
1/4 – 1/2 cup cream
Melt the butter in a large pot and saute the chopped onions and peppers until soft. Add half of the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor and return it to the pot. Add the remaining chicken stock and cream. Heat through, and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.