Roasted Yellow Pepper and Leek Soup

The first thing I always do when I’m planning a vacation is figure out where to eat. In fact, I would say our days tend be structured by what activities are around the restaurants we want to visit! I had more difficultly than usual planning our NYC trip because my mom is a bit of a picky eater and the city is just so large, but my mom was a great sport and we made our way successfully all around the city on the subway. I can’t fit all the yumminess of NYC in one post, so I’m just going to focus on the restaurants we visited in this post and feature all the sweet treats we sampled in the next one!

We spent our first night in the city dining at Craft. I was actually a bit nervous about visiting Craft because I am a huge Top Chef fan and didn’t want to be disappointed by Tom Colicchio’s flagship restaurant, but I shouldn’t have worried because both the food and unpretentious service were wonderful! I convinced my mom that we should start with the octopus appetizer, and I was completely tickled when she actually admitted she enjoyed it (it was the best octopus I’ve ever had!). Meals are served family style at Craft so while I had the braised short ribs (which were so tender that they were served with a spoon!) and my mom had the duck, we shared an arugula and lemon salad, gnocchi, zucchini, and a mix of oyster, baby shiitake, hen of the woods, and trompette royale mushrooms – yum! We just had an ice cream and sorbet sampler for dessert since we were so stuffed and I would return just for the amazing raspberry sorbet! The cute surprise at the end of the night was that the hostess handed us super moist zucchini muffins to enjoy for breakfast the next morning!

The next morning we were still stuffed from dinner, but we put on our game faces and took a long walk to make room for pizza! A visit to NYC would not be complete without sampling the best pizza the city has to offer, so when I came across Scott’s Pizza Tours, I immediately signed us up. Scott is a super enthusiastic pizza historian. We rode a huge yellow school bus through Manhattan and Brooklyn and visited four pizzerias, where we learned about the history of pizza and ovens, and got to sample a slice of pie at each stop. Our favorite place was Luzzo’s, but don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself! I would highly, highly recommend this tour for any pizza loving foodie!

Over the last couple of days we relaxed in Central park, spent a few hours wandering through the MoMA, visited Times Square and hummed along at the fun Broadway muscial Mama Mia, chowed down on dirty water hot dogs, and enjoyed a feast of lobster egg rolls, tuna tartare spring rolls, twice cooked long beans, sweet and crispy jumbo shrimp, and roast duck and noodles at Buddakan. We sure packed a lot into a few short days! I was definitely in food blogger mode when I saw Warhol’s famous Campbell’s soup series in the MoMA and immediately knew it would be the perfect picture for a blog post about soup, which brings me to today’s recipe.

I was craving a nice light and healthy veggie soup when I returned home and that decided roasted yellow peppers should be the star. This is a very light soup because I didn’t use any cream or milk, but it’s still very smooth because I thickened it by adding some butternut squash!

Roasted Yellow Pepper and Leek Soup
Printable Recipe

4 yellow peppers, seeded and cut into fourths
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 12-ounce package frozen cooked butternut squash, thawed
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven broiler. Place peppers skin side up on a greased cookie sheet and broil for 15 to 20 minutes or until outsides are black and charred. Cool at room temperature for 10 minutes or until cool to touch. Remove blackened skins and roughly chop roasted peppers.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large stockpot and sauté leeks and carrots until soft. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute. Add roasted peppers, butternut squash, chicken stock, and salt, and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish each bowl with parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition: 176 calories, 5.8g fat, 7.1g fiber, 5.9g protein per serving
Cost: $1.93 per serving

42 Responses to Roasted Yellow Pepper and Leek Soup

  1. What a cute picture of you and your mom! I am so glad Craft did not disappoint. Thanks for sharing the pics. Also, the soup looks delicious. I am a huge leek fan. Love it love it love it! Bookmarking the recipe. Yum!

  2. Such a fabulous post! Thank you so much for taking us along on your NYC food journey! The pizza tour sounds SO cool! (I’m the exact same way with trip planning – picking the food destinations is the best part! :-) The photos of you and your Mom are awesome – y’all are gorgeous!

    Your soup sounds heavenly… I love how it looks so creamy without any cream!

  3. This soup sounds fantastic. I love a good, comforting soup. :)
    I loved this post! It looks like you and your mom had a great time in the city. I wish I had gone on that pizza tour. We had a white pie at Lombardi’s, and it was really, really good.

    So did you get to meet in any of your blogging friends in the city?? Wink, wink.

    I’m giving you the nod to go ahead…

  4. LUCKY!!! I’ve always wanted to go to Crafts! I’m glad it didn’t disappoint.
    LOVE your pictures of you and your mom…You guys seem like such cute and sweet people to hang out with! 😀

  5. The zucchini muffins are such a cute little treat. I’ve never been to Craft – maybe I’ll check it out on our next visit to NYC. Buddakan is pretty awesome though :)

  6. Your trip sounds so great! I think when you plan a vacation around places with great food, it’s hard to be disappointed! I would love to eat at Tom Colicchio’s restaurant. The pizza tour sounds like a wonderful way to find a favorite NY pizza, because I’m sure there are so many great ones. Love this soup! These are the perfect flavors for fall!

  7. Looks like an awesome trip. Food is always first on my list. I’ve structured a lot of my trips around food (San Francisco was basically one week long food fest). It was great meeting you and your husband yesterday. Hopefully we’ll get together again sometime soon.

  8. I’m so glad that you and your mother thoroughly enjoyed your trip to NYC! I’ve been dying to go to Craft. Sounds like you had an amazing dinner!

    That soup looks wonderful! So simple, yet so filling and delicious. The perfect way to go if you’re tying to eat light.

    BTW, I had so much fun apple picking with you and Apolinaras yesterday. He is a riot! I’m glad we all got some good apples. Can’t wait to see what everyone creates :)

  9. Such a fun foodie adventure with your mom!
    I am glad Craft lived up to its rep – how sweet to get muffins at the end of the meal!
    Beautiful soup, lovely for fall.

  10. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. All that food……Yummy.

    Your soup sounds the best though. A light soup is refreshing and this one is such a pretty color.

  11. I think I wished I stowed away in your suitcase!! What a fun trip. One day I want to at least have a hot dog from a hot dog cart in New York City!! I am trying the soup! Do you have a trick to clean the leeks?? Great blog post!

  12. I am a food planner when I go on vacation as well. It is the most important part! Can you believe I have not been to any of these restaurants. I at least need to make it to Craft sometime in the near future. I love Tom Colicchio as well!

    Of course, it IS always nice to come home and “eat clean” again. Purge yourself of all the excesses. I love that you added butternut squash to this. It just makes everything better.

  13. So jealous, I love NY. So many eating options, you know you left off 2,000 great choices, but I like your itinerary. Especially the idea of the pizza tour. I get tired of the same old same old tours of cities (that you could get from reading a travel guide for an hour). The idea of a specialty tour like that, I bet you got a unique history of the city as well (ethnic contributions, economic necessities influencing changes in pizza recipes, etc.).

    And I am an old man, but when I saw Mama Mia, I knew every word to every song…I was up dancing in the aisles during the finale… My wife and I did the hustle outside the theatre

    Thanks for bringing back those memories


  14. Love the soup recipe, definitely will try it soon. How nice you had a vacation with your mom! She’s lovely. I just made Tom Colicchio’s braised short ribs and they were absolutely to die for! Haven’t posted the recipe yet.

  15. Ah, a girl after my own heart planning your trip around food! My husband and I are getting ready to take a trip to Chicago that is based solely on restaurants. After watching Top Chef Masters, we were sold on Bayless and Graham Elliott, so off we go! I found your blog by way of Emily at Sugar Plum. Your soup looks delish and I love that you added the nutrition and cost at the bottom! I look forward to following your culinary adventures.

  16. greeattt post! i’m a huge top chef fan too (i’m betting one of the two brothers will win, what do you think?) and always wondered about craft! can’t wait for my next trip to nyc! great soup recipe!

  17. I’ve never actually bought b’nut squash frozen… but it’s a great idea :)

    HOLY MOLY you packed alot into the weekend! and a pizza tour? lol. i wouldn’t have been as adventurous as mom with the octopus, so mad props to her 😉 and i’d be a bit nervous that craft would disappoint, too! glad to hear it lived up to the expectations!!

  18. I’m a huge Top Chef fan too … which is why I’m so glad that Craft didn’t disappoint! So jealous of your trip to NYC … love that crazy city! Have been to MoMA several times, and enjoyed it every single time :)

  19. Craft was GREAT! A few people at our table got the braised short ribs and they loved them. I’m actually eating vegetarian for the month of October, so I got the mushroom risotto for main and we shared a bunch of the sides which were alll amazing. We got monkeybread for dessert. When do you ever see monkey bread for dessert? We had to get it.

    Your soup sounds wonderful and a perfect antidote to all the food and drink from Vegas.

  20. I am the same way!! I totally structure any type of getaway around food & foodie-type fun!! This looks like a great day :) Cute photos! And your soup sounds so warming and delicious.

  21. Nice! I saw you met up with Emily of Sugar Plum, too!

    Ha-ha, about dirty water hot dogs. I loved those when I lived there though after your comment I’m not sure I’d I could eat one! LOL! That comment is one that will stick with me for a looong time!

  22. Looks like a wonderful soup! Good comfort food. I will try anything that has peppers! I saw you also on Emily’s blog. So nice that you had a chance to meet!

  23. So cool that you visited my old stompin’ grounds. Moved from NY to FL just 12 years ago. Loved the tie in to Warhol’s soup art. I never actually saw that before. Your soup sounds wonderful, I am just still waiting for it to cool off here. It’s taking longer than usual and was 90 today. Ick.

  24. Thanks everyone! I’m glad I’m not the only one that completely plans trips around restaurants :)

    Emily – Yay, I finally got our picture up :)

    Gin – I definitely need a lesson on how to clean leeks faster! I feel like sometimes they’re fine and sometimes they are filled with so much dirt!

    Judy – I’m SO looking forward to your short rib post!

    Kiss My Spatula – I’m rooting for Jen, but the brothers and Kevin are great too!

    Ingrid – Haha, I can’t claim credit for calling them dirty water hot dogs, I stole that line from Anthony Bourdain :)

  25. this is a veritable garden in a bowl! awesome ingredients and spices and gorgeous color! also, i’m thrilled to hear that good ol’ tom didn’t let ya down. :)

  26. I smile….Its so good to know that I’m not the only ‘obsessive’ travel researcher. I tend to focus on markets, resturants and things to bring back :-) So when we went to Vienna, I brought back some pumpkin oil, Paris – sonfiture au lait (a kind of dulce de leche), Rome – Pasta, sauces and more….. Haven’t been to the US yet but Pecans will be at the top of my list! Glad you had a great time

  27. I smile….Its so good to know that I’m not the only ‘obsessive’ travel researcher. I tend to focus on markets, resturants and things to bring back :-) So when we went to Vienna, I brought back some pumpkin oil, Paris – confiture au lait (a kind of dulce de leche), Rome – Pasta, sauces and more….. Haven’t been to the US yet but Pecans will be at the top of my list! Glad you had a great time

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