Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Soup with Chicken and Rice

Tonight I had a small window of time once I got home to make dinner before I had to take a conference call with Asia. I've wanted to try a recipe I found in Food & Wine for Creamy Piquillo Pepper and Chickpea Soup with Chicken. The magazine claimed it would take 7 minutes to prepare. I knew it would take me a bit longer. As it turns out the call was cancelled but I was able to pull this together in 20 minutes - not bad.

The nice thing is with the exception of the rotisserie chicken, I could get most of the ingredients from Trader Joe's. I picked up a bottle of roasted red peppers thinking it would be a good substitute for piquillo peppers, a container of hummus, low-salt chicken broth, and frozen organic jasmine rice.

I modified a few things as I'm wont to do - adding some cayenne pepper (I like spicy), a lot of black pepper, more rice and more broth. It's a really good and easy recipe, great for a weeknight dinner.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Chickpea Soup
with Chicken and Rice

Adapted from Food & Wine

1 12-ounce bottle roasted red peppers, reserving one-half pepper for garnish
¾ cup hummus (maybe a little less)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup cooked white rice
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
Dash of cayenne pepper or to taste (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Flat leaf parsley and olive oil for garnish

In a blender, combine the peppers with the hummus and 1 cup of chicken broth. Puree until smooth.

Transfer the soup to a saucepan. Add the remaining chicken broth, rice, and chicken. Season with cayenne and black pepper. Taste first to see if any additional salt is needed as the hummus and rotisserie chicken will add salt on their own. Bring to a boil to heat through.

To serve, cut the reserved pepper into thin strips. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the sliced peppers, parsley, and olive oil.