Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup With Orzo

2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
½  cup orzo, cooked just to al dente
1 tablespoon of olive oil
medium onion, diced
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
½  teaspoon of Kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
28 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes
2 cups of vegetable stock

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the peppers on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, flipping the peppers half way through. The skin of the peppers should look charred and the flesh should be soft and cooked through. Once the peppers are nicely charred, allow them to cool enough so that you can handle them without burning yourself. Gently peel away the charred skin from the pepper and pull out the stem along with the seeds. Slice the roasted peppers and set them aside.

While the peppers are roasting, cook your orzo according to package directions, making sure not to over cook. In fact, you may want to under-cook the pasta a bit since it will continue to cook once it’s added to the soup. When the pasta is done, drain it and drizzle it with a tiny amount of olive oil to keep it from clumping together. Set the pasta aside and move onto the soup.

In a medium sized pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until they begin to brown. Add the optional pinch of red pepper flakes, salt, garlic and thyme. Cook them for another minute or two.

Next, add the roasted peppers, tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cook for 20 to 30 minutes to allow all of the flavors to meld.

Carefully and in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When you are ready to serve, ladle a generous portion of soup into a bowl and add a heaping spoonful or two of the orzo to the bowl. Mix in and enjoy! Alternatively, you can add all of the orzo to the soup, mix and serve right from the pot.