Servings: Serves 4–6
- 6 red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion , chopped
- 2 carrots , diced
- 2 cloves garlic , chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 cups loosely packed arugula leaves , torn into large pieces, plus additional for garnish
- 2 cups grated fontina cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup oil-cured olives , pitted
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 anchovy fillet , optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small baguette , cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices or elongated slices cut on a bias
Over a gas flame on medium heat, place peppers directly on grates of burners (1 or 2 peppers per burner); rotate often with a pair of tongs. When peppers are completely black, place in a large bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let them steam until cool enough to handle. Peel away black-blistered skin. (Wet your hands often in cold water to help remove the skin, but don't place pepper in water, as this will wash off all flavor.) Remove stems and seeds, and cut into large chunks.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook olive oil, onion and carrots. Stir until tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, and peppers; continue cooking 3 to 4 minutes, then add stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. Add arugula and remove from heat. Puree in a food processor or with a wand blender until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Coarsely chop first 4 ingredients of tapenade. Add lemon juice and enough olive oil just to bind together. Set aside. Sprinkle baguette slices with remaining cheese, and toast in oven until crispy. Remove and spread with tapenade. Garnish soup with additional arugula and serve with toasts.