week of soups--day 4: spicy tomato and roasted red pepper / by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

week of soups--day 4: spicy tomato and roasted red pepper

OK. This isn't exactly the time of the year for tomatoes but there are some decent hydroponics out there. But they won't have that mid-summer flavor so the best only thing to do is cook with them. Plus it's nice sometimes to bring a little bit of summer into your kitchen when the weather outside is frosty.

6 medium paste-type or a dozen Roma tomatoes, skinned and diced.
3-4 large carrots, diced.
1 medium onion, diced.
1 cup chopped celery.
2 large red bell peppers, roasted, skinned, and chopped.
1 chile (or habanero!) pepper, diced finely.
5-6 cloves of peeled garlic.
1 cup of vegetable stock.
Salt, pepper to taste.

This will take a little bit of time (not nearly as much as the day 1 stock) but once finished, you'll have the base for soups 4 thru 6.

To skin the tomatoes. Core them and slice an X through the bottom skin. Drop the tomatoes in boiling water for ~1 minutes until the skin splits and then remove and drop in ice water. The skins should slip off easily at this point. Dice the tomatoes coarsely.

Saute the onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil in a heavy bottom stock pot until tender. Add the tomatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Then add the peppers, garlic, and vegetable stock and simmer for 1/2 or so until the carrots are tender. The zip in this soup comes from the hot pepper and garlic. Adjust these spices to your flavor profile. Adding the garlic at the end also retains more of the heat of the garlic. If you saute the garlic on the front end, you'll have a much milder flavor in the finished soup. Likewise with the hot pepper. Retain the veins and seeds for heat and remove these for a more moderate flavor.

Process the cooked soup in a blender or food processor. Serve hot with croutons or hearty bread.