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Recipe: 'Red Pepper Soup With Ginger And Fennel'

At Home With Madhur Jaffrey

This has always been a favorite soup of mine. I made it very recently with the last of the bell peppers on my plants. The leaves had shriveled already, but the peppers were still hanging on. It was such a cold, damp day that I decided to add some warming ginger to the soup for added comfort.

Serves 6

2 pounds sweet red bell peppers

4 tablespoons olive or canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium potato (about 4 ounces), peeled and chopped

One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

5-5 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 teaspoon salt

5-6 tablespoons heavy cream

Chop the peppers coarsely after discarding all the seeds. Pour the oil into a large, wide pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the peppers, onions, potatoes, ginger, fennel seeds, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Stir and fry until all the vegetables just start to brown. Add 2 cups of the stock and the salt. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Ladle the soup in batches into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the blended soup into a clean pot. Add the remaining stock, thinning the soup out as much as you like. Add the cream and mix it in. Adjust salt, as needed. Heat through before serving.

From At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka by Madhur Jaffrey. Copyright 2010 Madhur Jaffrey. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

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Madhur Jaffrey