So yet again we are stuck in that awkward season somewhere between Winter and Spring where just as you’re about to pack away your Winter clothing for the third time, here comes the cold again. So I thought I’d share a dish with you that can be served both hot or cold. Because the weather forecast may say scorching, clear 30°c today for your weekend dinner party, but it may very well turn out to be a cold, rainy 18°c day. You just don’t know. And the last thing you want to have to do is change your menu at the last minute and waste both time and ingredients. Plus, you’ll find it difficult indeed to impress your Vegetarian guest as much with any other vegetable soup.
This recipe is inspired by one I got off BBCgoodfood.com when I was craving a gazpacho-style soup, but a warm version of it. I find just plain vegetable soups very one dimensional so I needed something with a bit more flavour, a bit more texture, and that Wow! factor.
And what I stumbled upon was the perfect combination of a hot, spicy red pepper, tomato & carrot soup topped with a cool, refreshing cucumber yoghurt. And then recently, to add some crunch, we bought a bag of crispy jalapeños from Woolworths and sprinkled some of that on top. To serve alongside the soup, I popped a few Woolies Ciabatta slices into the oven, and once they were crunchy enough, I smothered them with butter while they were still piping hot. Nothing quite like biting into crusty, soft hot bread and melted butter hey?
Wow! Factor – definitely √
Prepare to have your mind and mouth blown!
Hot & Spicy Red Pepper Soup
Topped with a dollop of Cucumber Yoghurt & Crispy Jalapeños
- Serves 4
- Olive oil
- Woolworths Ciabatta
- Woolworths Lightly Salted Crispy Jalapeños
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 3 large red peppers, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 red chili, sliced
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 850ml – 1L vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- 2 x 175g tubs of cold plain yoghurt
- ½ cold cucumber, halved, deseeded, coarsely grated and squeezed of excess water
- dried garlic flakes
- Ina Paarman Garlic & Herb Spice
- Ina Paarman Chili Garlic Spice
- salt & pepper
- Turn your oven to 200°c
- In a large pot on medium heat, heat the oil, then fry the carrots, onions & peppers with a dash of garlic & herb spice
- Cook for approximately 10 min or until the vegetables are soft
- Add the garlic & chili, mix in and cook for a further few minutes
- Add 800ml of the stock and the chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil and cook for a further 10 min
- Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt and cucumber in a bowl, then cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve
- While the soup is still hot, very carefully blitz with the hand blender until smooth consistency. If the soup is too thick, you can add some more of the left over stock. I never need to do this.
- Pop the ciabatta slices into the oven on an oven rack for 10-15min
- Meanwhile return the soup to the pot and slowly reheat on medium heat while taste testing. Now here’s the fun part. Add as much chili garlic spice, garlic flakes and Tabasco as you feel is necessary to give it a punchy hot & spicy kick.
- Ladle the soup into 4 bowls, and serve with a side of buttered ciabatta slices
- At the table, spoon a large dollop of yoghurt gently into the centre of the soup bowl and sprinkle some crispy jalapeños over the top. Keep the bag handy as the guys may want some more.
This soup is incredible just as it is, but if you’re a Mexican fan or simply love jalapeños on pretty much anything, then you need to get your hands on a bag of Woolworths Lightly Salted Crispy Jalapeños. It’s perfect for soups, salads, home-made burritos, tacos and nachos. Or you can have them just as they are, straight out of the bag and into your mouth. Either way, they are delicious and addictive the way only hot jalapeños can be.