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I’ve been wanting to make this chilled soup for a while, but wasn’t expecting anything earth-shattering. This recipe, however, is pretty spectacular. Rich, luscious, and creamy, it is a meal in itself. A garnish of the soup’s main ingredients gives texture to the final dish, which looks like it came straight from a restaurant kitchen.

1 3/4 cups diced cucumber (1/2 large hothouse), plus more for garnish
1 cup green grapes, plus more for garnish
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds, plus more for garnish
1 clove garlic
1 cups cubed baguette (1/2 a demi-baguette)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
2. Add 2 cups water to the blender and whirl until smooth.
3. Divide evenly among bowls and garnish with diced cucumber, green grapes (halved), almonds, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Serves 2-4

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1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 medium to large red bell peppers, medium rough dice
1 medium onion, medium rough dice
kosher salt and black pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced

1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
2. Once oil is hot, add the bell peppers and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently enough to avoid browning.
3. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.
4. Cover the vegetables with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until 2/3 of the water evaporates.
5. With an immersion blender, puree until smooth.
6. Adjust seasoning and serve with roasted eggplant rollatini.

The sauce packs a surprising amount of flavor for such few ingredients. For this reason, as well as the smooth, luscious texture, it would serve as an excellent red pepper soup. Serve hot or chilled, and garnish with fresh herbs and heavy cream, or extra-virgin olive oil.

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