Cold Red Pepper Soup: The Invention of a Former Fashion Designer

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Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: I heard recently of a very fine red pepper soup that you have in your files. I have not seen it printed in any recent columns.


Dear Nancy: Red pepper soup, a beautiful cold soup encased in whole red pepper cases, garnished with a caviar-centered lemon slice, was the invention of the late fashion designer Rudi Gernreich.



1 cup unsalted butter

2 tablespoons oil

4 cups chopped leeks

6 large red peppers, seeded and sliced

3 cups chicken broth


6 cups buttermilk

White pepper

10 to 12 green peppers, scooped out

Melt butter with oil in large saucepan. Add leeks and red peppers. Reduce heat and saute, covered, 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Check occasionally to prevent scorching. Add chicken broth and salt to taste. Simmer, partially covered, over low heat 30 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.


Blend pepper mixture in food processor or blender until smooth. Strain into large bowl. Stir in buttermilk and white pepper to taste. Garnish with chives or thin slice of lemon with a small scoop of caviar centered on lemon slice, if desired. Serve in scooped-out green pepper for single serving. Red, green, yellow or black peppers or mixed colors may be used. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Dear SOS: Stratton’s Grill in Westwood serves a dish of grilled shrimp in lime sauce that is nothing short of heavenly. Could you persuade them to part with the recipe? I’d be eternally grateful.


Dear Mark: You needn’t go to such lengths. A smile will do.


2 tablespoons oil

12 to 16 shrimp (36 size), peeled and deveined

2 medium shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry vermouth

Juice of 3 limes

1/4 to 1/3 cup whipped butter or margarine, at room temperature

Salt, pepper, optional

Dash fresh chopped parsley

Dash fresh chopped chives

Heat oil until hot. Add shrimp. Saute until shrimp turn red and are almost cooked. Drain off excess oil. Add shallots, garlic, vermouth and lime juice. Bring to boil. Boil vigorously about 30 seconds to reduce liquid. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in butter until sauce is smooth. (Care must be taken so that the pan is hot enough to warm the butter immediately, but not so hot as to break the sauce.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and chives. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Dear SOS: I hope you can help us find a My Best Recipe printed at least 10 years ago that we lost. We have used it quite a bit over the years. It’s called Sweet and Sour Baked Beans and used lima, kidney and baby limas, I think.


Dear Daniel: I hope we’re on the right track. This common recipe appears in many forms, using any canned beans desired.


4 slices bacon

2 onions, sliced

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cider vinegar

2 (15-ounce) cans butter beans

1 (1-pound) can green lima beans

1 (1-pound) can red kidney beans

1 (1-pound) can baked beans

Fry bacon in skillet until crisp. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, then crumble and set aside. Separate onion slices into rings and cook in bacon drippings until tender, but not browned. Stir in brown sugar, mustard, garlic powder, salt and vinegar. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Drain butter beans, lima beans and kidney beans and combine with baked beans, onion mixture and bacon in 3-quart casserole. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour. Makes 12 to 14 servings.


Only recipes of general interest will be printed. We are unable to answer all requests. Please include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. Send your letter with self-addressed, stamped envelope to Culinary SOS, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.