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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chilled Roasted Yellow Pepper-Mango Soup

Chilled Roasted Yellow Pepper-Mango Soup

Chilled Roasted Yellow Pepper-Mango Soup
by Victoria Challancin

Although I have lived in Mexico for twenty five years, I still find it odd that May is the hottest month. I mean, for most people in this hemisphere, May conjures up images of new growth popping through the earth, mild weather, and just a general prelude to summer.  But here in Mexico on the high central plateau, it is hot.  The countryside is crunchy-dry, the reservoirs are low, life in general crawls at a slower pace, and earth awaits the beginning of the rainy season.  Bougainvilleas may be in abundant bloom, but cacti are thin and drooping.  People are drooping.  What a perfect time for a refreshing cold soup.

Cold soups are just so uplifting--a cooling jolt to the senses, an awakening of the appetite, a bright encouragement to perk up and savor life.  And they are so flexible.  This recipe is no exception.  The combination of roasted bell pepper and mango seemed inspired to me, and it was.  Lovely.  A perfect marriage of two favorite ingredients.  If chilled soups aren't part of your culinary repertoire, this recipe is a nice place to begin.
Chilled Roasted Yellow Pepper-Mango Soup

Cook's Notes:  I used 2 yellow bell peppers and one orange bell pepper, just to give a more intense color.  Also, I roasted the peppers directly over an open flame on my gas stove.  The sour cream I used was Mexican crema ácida, which is closer to a crème fraîche than it is to an American-type sour cream, but even yogurt would work here as would the traditional sour cream called for in the recipe.  I opted for a seeded chile serrano instead of the hot sauce.  I also did not choose to strain the soup and it was just great!

Recipe:  Chilled Roasted Yellow Pepper-Mango Soup
(Recipe from Coastal Living Magazine)
Serves 6

3 large yellow bell peppers, seeded and quartered
2 large mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup mango nectar
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce (or 1 chile serrano, seeded)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sour cream
Garnish:  Fresh mint

Place bell peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.   Broil 5 inches from heat 15 minutes or until blistered.  Place bell peppers in a large zip-lock plastic bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins.  Peel peppers, discarding skins.

Process peppers and mango in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Add mango nectar and next 6 ingredients; process until smooth*.  Cover and chill mixture 2 hours.  Top with sour cream and garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

*Note:  If desired, press mango mixture through a wire-mesh strainer, using back of a spoon to squeeze out liquid.  Discard pulp and solids.  Straining and discarding solids yields less volume but makes a very smooth soup.


Chilled Roasted Yellow Pepper-Mango Soup

Parting Shot:
Sunday afternoon on our friends' ranch, the hammock

©Victoria Challancin.  All Rights Reserved.

Recipes, like life, are meant to be shared, but please ask permission before using text or photos.  Thanks!


FOODalogue said...

That's a really good recipe. I like the 2 main ingredients and love the idea of adding ginger, picante and acid. It must be perfectly balanced.

I will have to try it.

Eha said...

Don't know where my eyes should travel first: that beautiful soup or the wonderful photo of the hammock? Have marked the soup already: unfortunately there is a winter and spring to get thru' ere I can indulge!

Unknown said...

I love cold soups and a favorite recipe is a yellow pepper one. This sounds like a delicious variation and I can't wait to try it!

Ben said...

Is there anything better than mango? No, the answer is no :) Great soup!

tania@mykitchenstories said...

Victoria, if only I could have that Sunday afternoon!. I dont really like chilled soups but I imagine this one to be delicious. A great way to use those beautiful yellow peppers and ginger. Do you use much ginger there?

Victoria Challancin said...

Thanks, Tania. And yes, this is a cold soup worth trying--maybe it will make a convert out of you! No, ginger isn't much used in Mexican cuisine--not at all, really. In fact, the Mexican cooks that I teach are often a bit suspicious of it at first. Usually, it is a learned taste sensation that most embrace after more exposure though.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I think it's hilarious that as we are heading into some really cold weather, you guys are experiencing the opposite! :D I am definitely saving this for when it heats up :D

Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake said...

I don't really like peppers, but for some reason your actually looks delicious. :D Good work on the soup art! said...

This a must for me to try. I am a soup kind-a-girl...

Veronica for Muy Bueno said...

This looks like a Must...mangos are a BIG favorite, and now a soup. Looking forward to trying this one verrrry soon.