I know what you’re thinking: “She’s gone stark raving mad.” Soup in the summer, & a spicy one at that?
Allow me to explain. While, no, a piping hot soup boiling away on the stove in an already steamy, sweaty summer kitchen is not the first thing that comes to mind when planning a midsummer’s meal, sometimes the ingredients on hand dictate said plans. In this case, I’d received nearly a dozen “Antohi Romanian Peppers” in my CSA share & along with an accompanied recipe that happened to be for, wouldn’t you know it, soup. Immediately nixing the soup idea, as it’s been far too hot around here these days (& I do not have A/C), I went in search of other recipes that utilized these rare sweet peppers & turned up practically nothing. Back to the drawing board & the CSA’s recipe, then out came the soup pot. And for the record, I may have gone just a wee bit nutty. For one, I’m a bit depressed about having to sell my house. Secondly, I’ve hit full-on summer vacay mode. I’ve read three full books in the span of a week, been desperately trying to catch up on “Bachelorette” episodes (which I’d sworn off completely after cute Ben chose that dippy model) so I can watch the “most shocking finale in Bachelorette history” with Anna on Sunday (shameful, I know), I’ve barely left the house save for yoga classes & quick trips to the market, had very little human interactions, & I just cut bangs when I vowed I NEVER would do that again (damn you cute bloggers, with your cute bangs, mad style, & amazing dwellings). With no one but a Pug to consult about these matters, my judgement just might be ever slightly off. Oh, where was I? Ah yes, soup, hot soup in the summer…raving mad, right! And the main star of the soup & reason for pulling out the cast iron stock pot that I thought would be hibernating until winter…Antohi Romanian Peppers. Here’s a little background on these buggers…
This heirloom pepper variety produces smooth, tapered, pointed fruits that are pale yellow & ripen red. This pepper is named after Jan Antohi, who was a touring acrobat who defected to the United States. After visiting his family, in Romania, for the first time in more than 8 years, he brought back seeds of this delicious heirloom. In Romania, these peppers are fried in a hot skillet to experience the sweet, full flavor. (source)
Hot skillet frying sounds just as nutty as soup making in the summer so I’ll stick with plan A. Come to find out that these peppers make a wonderful Romesco Sauce as well, & I still have 1/2 a bag so that just might show up here in a few days time. Another point in the soup’s favor? The CSA furnished a bag of hot peppers, also called for in the provided recipe.
Using the CSA’s recipe as my guide, I got to veggie prepping & soup making. I modified the recipe slightly to make it vegan by using soy creamer in the place of dairy cream & made a cashew crema (my go to recipe is from Viva Vegan!) to dollop on the soup instead of sour cream. For my own little Vegenista twist, I threw in some roasted corn (& added some for garnish) as that is one of my favorite summer flavors & I thought it would add some depth of flavor & work nicely here.
- 3 Tbsps. olive oil
- 5 small Antohi Romanian Peppers
- 5 serrano peppers
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 3 russet potatoes
- 32 oz vegetable stock
- 1 cup roasted corn (I used frozen from Trader Joe’s)
- ¼ cup soy creamer
- Salt & pepper
- Cashew Crema, cilantro & roasted corn kernels for garnish
- Roughly chop, then sauté the Romanian peppers in olive oil for 5 minutes on low heat. Meanwhile, chop the Serrano peppers (seeds intact), garlic, & onion).
- Add chopped ingredients & sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Peel & dice the potatoes & add to the mixture. Turn the heat to medium & cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
- Add the stock & bring to a boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the roasted corn.
- Remove pot from heat & puree using an immersion blender. Stir in soy creamers.
- Garnish with a dollop of cashew crema & cilantro.