I came across this recipe while trying to find something to make with pears that were quickly going south.  I love allrecipes.com‘s “ingredient” search feature, which allows you to search for recipes based on any number of ingredients.  It’s great when you’re trying to remember a recipe your mom used to make, for example, but don’t have it written down in front of you–if you can recall a few ingredients that were in that dish, chances are you’ll find a recipe that matches up pretty closely to what you were looking for.  I like to use this search feature to find dishes based on what leftover ingredients I have in my fridge or pantry.  This time, I typed in simply “pears” and hit the search button, eager to get rid of those pears.

Being a baker, I automatically assumed my search would turn up a number of dessert recipes I could dive into: pear tart, poached pears, some sort of cake or quickbread.  I was intrigued, however, to find this recipe for Creamy Red Pepper Soup–no mention of pears anywhere, and a soup?  I had to find out what this was about, so I clicked on the recipe to read more.

What I discovered was a recipe which incorporated not only pears, but a number of other kitchen staples I was eager to use.  All I needed to purchase were the roasted red peppers and chicken broth.  My husband and I loved this hearty soup–thickened by potatoes instead of cream, a hint of cayenne for some subtle heat and, as the author of the recipe states in the introduction, you’d never guess the secret ingredient lending their slight sweetness was the pears (I used fresh pears, although the recipe calls for canned).  Here is the original recipe; I’ve reprinted it below as well.

Creamy Red Pepper Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 (7 ounce) jars roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry and chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pears in juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven, saute onions and garlic in butter until tender. Add potatoes, red peppers and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat. Add pears; let cool.
  2. In a blender, cover and puree in batches. Return to the pan. Stir in cayenne and black pepper. Cook until heated through.
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