Roasted Yellow Bell Pepper and Thyme Soup

Makes 4 servings

If you decide to use bottled roasted peppers, then you'll need about 4 cups worth.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, diced (about 3/4 cup)
3 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
6 large yellow peppers
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1. Pre-heat oven broiler. Line one large or two small rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil. Slice peppers in half. Clean out the seeds. Place cut-side down on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place directly under broiler for 25-30 minutes until peppers are covered with black blisters. Remove from oven and wrap tightly in aluminum foil, or place inside of a paper bag and close tightly. Place inside of a bowl to catch any juices that might spill out. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. The steam will help the skins peel off more easily. Remove one pepper at a time. Using a paper towel, rub the skins off and discard. If you have trouble removing the skins, then steam the peppers a bit longer. Chop peppers.

2. In a large, deep pot over medium-high, warm remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute onions, carrots, and celery for 5-7 minutes until lightly browned. Add roasted peppers and sherry vinegar and stir. Add vegetable broth, salt, and pepper, and cook 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in thyme. Allow to cool completely before pureeing.

3. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth, or if you prefer, a little chunky. Taste it. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return soup to pot and heat on stove top for 7-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.
Recipe created by Susan Russo of Food Blogga.