I love this recipe because it uses fresh, sweet red bell peppers, as opposed to roasted red peppers. It’s full of other fresh vegetables and thyme, too, and it freezes exceptionally well. Rice is used as the thickening agent, rather than cream. If you don’t like a lot of spice, reduce the amount of cayenne and red pepper flakes.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the bell peppers, carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir the vegetables until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, rice, thyme, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the rice and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat. and cool 30 minutes.
Blend the cooled soup until smooth using an hand-held immersion blender directly in the pot. Or use a blender, and blend the soup in batches until smooth.
Per Serving: 109 calories; protein 3g; carbohydrates 19.1g; fat 2.2g; cholesterol 4mg; sodium 1027.9mg.