August 4, 2010
A perk (in my opinion, others might call it a sacrifice) of living in the Midwest is having four true seasons. From the bitter, snowy winters to the green, rainy springs to the balmy, humid summers to the golden, crisp falls and back again, we see it all. I’m grateful for this because, frankly, I quickly become impatient and am easily bored. With the weather, anyways. Take right this minute for example. Summer. It’s been here, officially, for 45 days. So we have, officially, 49 more days to go. (This involved some “research” and apparently there is some dispute about the length of Summer. Some say 91 days, others 94, 104 or 500. We’re going with 94 today.) The majority would celebrate this and the fact that for at least 49 more days, cookouts, zucchini and frozen pies are still “in season”. As I write this I’m feeling more and more guilty about wanting to haul my box of sweaters out of storage, and about the stack of roasted, stewed and braised recipes I’ve been printing and hoarding since early July. Instead of yearning for the next season, I should be living in the moment, reminding myself that in less than four months I will likely be donning galoshes and mittens and five tons of clothes and cursing this post. So until then, I’ll compromise. I’ll eat fall/winter fare in the dead of Summer, because I’m sweating anyways. But I’ll meet Summer halfway because that’s only fair. Taking advantage of the most fantastic crop of the season, the tomato, seems like a pretty sweet deal.
This soup is one of my favorite things to emerge from our kitchen in a while. It totally satisfied my soup cravings and a new found obsession with chipotle-seasoned-anything. I have had visions of chipotle dancing about in my dreams since trying Chipotle Tabasco for the first time a couple weeks back. It totally stuck with me. This is funny, seeing as how I don’t even own a bottle of regular Tabasco sauce. Chipotle Tabasco on top of rice and beans was just about the best.thing.ever. Sweet goodness, I could have rounded off the meal with a shot of the stuff followed by a lime wedge chaser. Ok, that’s a little dramatic. What I’m trying to say is smoked jalapenos are taking over my life and somehow made their way into this soup.
Smokey Roasted Tomato Soup with Chipotle
- 4 lbs ripe summer tomatoes (about 12 medium)
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cubanelle peppers, chopped*
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 cups reduced sodium stock
- 1-2 chipotle peppers canned in adobo, seeded (plus 1 T sauce from can)**
- 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Kosher salt
- Chopped cilantro (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half. Remove cores and seeds. Line in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then season with kosher salt. Roast in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until tomatoes are very tender.
In a large stockpot heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and saute until onions are translucent (8-10 minutes). Add garlic and saute 1 minute. To the pot add the roasted tomatoes, stock, seeded chipotles, oregano and cumin. Add kosher salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Remove soup from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to puree. Puree using an immersion blender or upright blender until smooth. Check for seasonings and serve with fresh chopped cilantro, if desired.
*If you can’t find cubanelles, substitute poblanos or bell peppers.
**Chipotle peppers will give the soup big kick. To scale back the heat, start with one seeded chipotle and puree in additional chipotle and/or adobo sauce later if you want it spicier.
Makes 8 cups.