Thursday, July 26, 2012

Romanian Antohi Pepper Soup with Chickpea Salad: A CSA Bounty

Every other Wednesday, our CSA delivery arrives from our local organic farm.  I get excited for the fresh, whole food produce; my husband gets excited because he knows I am about to embark on an inspired cooking frenzy. 

(For those who may not have discovered the joy of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), it is truly the cheapest, best way to get organic produce.  Local farms deliver fresh-picked produce directly to you, or a specified drop-off location.  And since it is fresh-picked it tends to last MUCH longer than organic produce does from the grocery store, or conversely it is actually picked at the appropriate ripeness instead of super early to allow for transport time.  Joining the CSA directly led to me starting this blog and truly diving into whole food cooking.)

This week, the CSA bounty was PEPPERS.  Padron peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, and a variation I'd never heard of: Antohi Romanian peppers.  They look like a sturdier, smaller version of yellow bell peppers and are just as sweet. 

 Thus, it was time for pepper soup!

3T butter
5 Antohi Romaian peppers (or 3 yellow bell peppers)

Saute the above over medium heat in a large soup pot while you chop:

5 serrano peppers (with seeds)
2 cloves garlic (or 3 if you love it, like I do)
1 medium onion

Saute veggies all together until they begin to soften and brown.  While this is working, dice:

9-12 small red potatoes (~3 servings)

Add potatoes to the pan and let everything get a good color to it, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all the browned bits (i.e. flavor).  Season with salt and pepper, then add:

1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

Bring to a boil and let simmer for ~15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Remove soup pot from heat, and use either immersion or traditional blender to puree.  Finally, stir in

1/4 c milk
Garnish with cilantro and sour cream

You will LOVE this soup!  The potato adds the right amount of thickness, the peppers give it the right amount of zing, and the touch of milk brings home the comfort food quality you want it a beautiful bowl of homemade soup.  Of course, the best part of this soup is that the bits of red potato peel look like bacon, so you totally can fool youself into thinking you're having a super decadent treat ;) 

For the side, I threw together a quick salad of:

Cooked chickpeas (thank goodness for the excess amount my husband purchased for hummus the other day!)
Chopped cucumber
Diced tomatoes
A handful or two of clover sprouts, or any type that you prefer
A handful of flat leaf parsley
1 diced avocado

And dressed it with a simple dressing of:

Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 T olive oil
1 t cumin
1/2 t salt
ground pepper

Whisk all together until emulsified and add immediately to the salad.  Toss and serve!

I love soup and salad preparation -- it's so fun and easy to change up the ingredients and experiment with the flavors!  As I was cooking this soup, I already planned to try it the next time wtih cauliflower instead of potatoes (always looking for diabetic friendly food!) . . . soooooo, stay tuned for the results of that one! 

Happy eating, fellow foodivas!


  1. Love it! Thanks creative & I love that its inspired by your CSA sellection!
    Cant wait to try,,,keep'em coming!

  2. I made your soup last night and found it to be delicious!! I loved how the potatoes balanced out the heat of the serano chillies. The only thing I would do differently next time ( and believe me, there will be a next time) is to use less of the serano chillies. I ate two and a half bowls of this soup, it was that good, but my family found it to be too spicy. I think I'll try 2 serano chillies instead of 5. The infusion of sweet peppers throughout the dish made it come alive!

    I also made your garbanzo bean salad, and loved it! I could eat that all day long and be happy. Thank you for coming up with these fantastic recipes. You have a gift, my friend:)