Recipe and Photos by Chef Jessica Bright
Nothing beats the comfort of a steamy bowl of soup on a cool winter night. Add a little heat from our favorite local datil pepper and you have the makings of a winning meal. As a member of the habanero family, datil peppers can pack quite the punch with the capsaicin concentrated in their seeds. By removing the seeds before using the peppers, you’ll retain some of that fruity yet smoky pepper flavor without so much of the heat. If you aren’t able to find fresh datils you could also substitute a jalapeno or other pepper of your choosing.
The surprising addition of carrots to this tomato soup recipe gives balance and sweetness to the otherwise acidic tomato flavor. The carrots also give more hearty texture to the resulting soup. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled which is recommended because it is so delicious!
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 6)
- HEARTY TOMATO SOUP
- 1 TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- 1 CUP CHOPPED ONION
- ¾ CUP SHREDDED CARROT
- 1 TBSP MINCED GARLIC
- 1 TBSP MINCED SHALLOTS
- 1 OR 2 DATIL PEPPERS, CHOPPED (WITH OR WITHOUT SEEDS)
- 1 TSP SUGAR
- ¼ TSP FRESH GROUND BLACK PEPPER
- 1 TSP SALT (OR TO TASTE)
- 8 LARGE, FRESH BASIL LEAVES
- 3 TBSP DRAINED SUN-DRIED TOMATOES, PACKED IN OIL
- 2 (14.5 OZ) CANS DICED TOMATOES, IN JUICE
- 2 CUPS VEGETABLE OR CHICKEN STOCK
- ¼ CUP WHITE WINE
Add oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion, shredded carrot, garlic, and shallots to the pan. Then, add the datil pepper (remove the seeds if you want the soup to be less spicy, or leave them in for hotter flavor.) Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add sugar, pepper, salt and basil and cook for 5 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth, and wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer one hour. Remove from heat. Blend in blender or with immersion blender until smooth.
Serve garnished with a fresh basil leaf. Yield 6 servings. Learn more about Chef Jessica Bright on her website here!