Well, as you all know it's that time of year. Pepper time. The 13th Annual PepperFest is September 20, 2020 held at The Plant this year for a much smaller crowd due to Covid-19. Arlo and Zach of Little Pond Farm harvested a TON of shishito peppers and our dear Dr. Pepper (Farmer Doug Jones) dropped off some of his famous smoky tobagos. Camille happened to bring over a beautiful container of multi- colored peppers one day last week, so I decided to take all the mushrooms from Haw River Mushrooms and all the peppers we had and roast them into an uber seasonal soup. I threw them all in the oven for about 20 minutes on 450 and the house smelled amazing.
Smell is so important, by the way...bringing back memories of 12 years of PepperFest and that feeling of excitement, possibilities and the break of our intense NC summer heat.
I took the stems off the peppers and started adding them into the soup mixture along with the roasted mushrooms...it was all cooking up beautifully. The idea is to cook it all together and put in a blender or use an immersion blender.
I just happened to taste one of the orange peppers to see how it was, thinking it was a sweet pepper. OH MY GOODNESS. I had to run to the pantry for crackers and then started downing almond milk out of the carton. My hands started burning, then other random body parts. After I gained composure, I realized I had put about 18 habaneros in this soup and it was going to kill the family if I didn't act quickly. I spooned out about 17 of them. I, of all people, should have known those were habaneros. I've put on 12 pepper festivals.
After putting all the spices and ingredients in and blending it up, serving it with sour cream and basil, this soup was très délicieux. I highly recommend. Just watch out.
Here is the recipe roughly: Take all your peppers, sweet & smoky and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes or until turning brown. (roast 1 small hot pepper alongside) Do the same with your mushrooms.
In a soup pot, sautee an onion, a few carrots and a little celery in a generous amount of good olive oil. Add about 5 cloves of chopped garlic. Cook on medium until it's all turning a little brown.
Add the roasted mushrooms and roasted peppers,
1 cup of chopped tomatoes and a little can of tomato paste. Add a carton of chix stock or vegetable stock. Add a cup of water. Add one cup fresh chopped basil.
Add 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (just because)
Other herbs to add: a few sprigs of thyme salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle some red pepper flakes
teaspoon turmeric (because it's good for you and Angelina always sneaks it in to the food of Pittsboro to make us healthier)
***add (1) roasted hot pepper to give it that fabulous spice...but only 1. After you have simmered everything, either put in a blender or grab your immersion blender and blend right in the pot (let it cool a little so you don't splatter scalding soup on yourself)
Then add 2 cups of almond milk to make it creamy. (if you prefer full fat, go for milk or cream)
Add a little more salt and pepper.
Garnish with sour cream and some microgreens or something fun like that....