2 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, stemmed, seeded and diced
1-2 fresh green Thai or serrano chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or basil
Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers and chile to taste. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables release some of their juices and the onion is lightly brown around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with paprika, salt and cardamom and cook, stirring, until the spices are very fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add pistachios and broth (or water). Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat; let cool 5 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender (in batches if necessary) and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the soup to the pan.
Whisk buttermilk and cream in a bowl; stir into the soup. Gently warm over low heat. Serve sprinkled with cilantro (or basil).
TIPS & NOTES
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Per serving:246 calories; 17 g fat ( 3 g sat , 9 g mono ); 9 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 7 g protein; 5 g fiber; 574 mg sodium; 419 mg potassium.