The flavors of the Southwest are combined in this hearty soup, spicy with cayenne and black pepper.


1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
5 large red bell peppers, cut lengthwise into flat panels
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cups water
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained


1 Preheat the broiler.

2 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the cilantro and sour cream. Transfer to a bowl and chill until serving time.

3 Place the bell pepper pieces, skin-side up, on a broiler pan and broil 4 inches from the heat for 12 minutes or until the skin is blackened. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel them.

4 In a nonstick Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne, and sauté until the onions are softened slightly, about 2 minutes.

5 Add the bell peppers and water to the pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peppers and onions are very tender, about 10 minutes.

6 In a food processor or blender, puree the soup. Return the puree to the saucepan. Add the beans and cook over medium heat until warmed through. Serve the soup topped with the cilantro cream. Makes 6 servings

Yellow Pepper & Chick-Pea Soup In step 1, use finely chopped fresh basil instead of cilantro. Substitute yellow bell peppers for the red peppers, and canned chick-peas (rinsed and drained) for the black beans.

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 121
total fat 2.8g
saturated fat 1.1g
cholesterol 5mg
dietary fiber 6g
carbohydrate 21g
protein 5g
sodium 358mg

good source of: beta carotene, fiber, folate, potassium, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E

If you are concerned about sodium levels, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Weight Loss, edited by Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 21 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 26 Mar 2015