You always want to walk a tight-rope of flavor
Yesterday was an opportunity to contribute another Rick Bayless adapted recipe to the cooking club to end the week and this time a slightly spicy roasted tomato soup with grilled shrimp. The recipe is relatively easy if you use the fire roasted tomatoes in the can and since I didn’t have any the next option was to roast the 3 pound box of Roma tomatoes in the oven, lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and a little pimenton (smoked paprika). Since the soup calls for blending with a stick blender or in batches in a blender, I didn’t pay too much attention to the size of the diced veggies and I can’t get away with adding fiery hot Habanero, a dash of Habanero hot sauce was a more manageable for a heat level. In addition a pinch or two of Chipotle chili powder offered a little more smokiness along with a pinch of ancho chili powder, but be sure to taste test any spicy chili product for the heat level before adding to the pot. I also like my soups with some chunkiness to it so I didn’t totally puree the veggies.
I slightly undercooked the shrimp because it would finish cooking in the hot soup and the added bonus of making this ahead of time with just a quick reheat allows for a stress free casual company lunch or dinner.
Great garnishes for the soup, a little fresh cilantro, if you like cheese grate a little Mexican cheese over each serving and if you have totally pureed your soup consider adding a few fresh diced carrots and green onions.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 medium celeriac (celery root) small dice, about 2 cups I used celery)
2 to 3 medium carrots, small dice, about 1 cup
3 garlic cloves, diced
2 28-ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes or fire roast 3 pounds Roma tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups beef broth (or vegetable broth)
1 Habanero chile, stemmed
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
Optional: 1 pound grilled or sautéed shrimp
Pour the olive oil into a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the onions have begun to brown around the edges. Scoop in the celeriac, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the carrots begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
Add the tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, beef broth, Habanero and potato. Stir until everything is well combined. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the temperature to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft. Using either a countertop blender or immersion blender, puree the soup. If you’re using a countertop blender, you’ll need to do this in batches, taking care not to overfill the blender jar.
Return the pureed soup to the pot, stirring in the parsley, 1 tablespoon salt and honey. I’m using honey here to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes so that all the flavors have a chance to meld, then taste for final seasoning. If you’re using the shrimp, add them to the individual bowls as they’re being served.