Carrot and Red Pepper Soup (Deborah Madison)

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch slices

2 cups diced onion

1 pound carrots, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons white rice

salt and freshly milled pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

3 tablespoons chopped dill

grated zest and juice of 1 orange

6 cups water or vegetable stock

Melt the butter in a soup pot and add the pepper, onion, carrots, rice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium heat, covered, until the onion has softened completely about 10 minutes, stirring several times. Add a grind of pepper, the parsley, dill, orange zest, juice and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered, until the rice is cooked, about 25 minutes. Cool briefly, then puree all but a cup or two of the soup and return it to the pot. Taste for salt, season with pepper, garnish and serve.