Spicy Zucchini, Pepper and Potato Soup
- 1 large red frying pepper or red bell pepper, for roasting
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 to 1 1/4 pounds small zucchini, very thinly sliced into discs
- 2 chile peppers, Fresno or other, tops removed, seeded and sliced into very thin rings
- 2 mild green frying peppers (cubanelle), thinly sliced into rings
- 1 medium yellow or red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
- 5 to 6 baby Yukon gold potatoes, very thinly sliced into discs (like potato chips)
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
- A few sprigs thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 2 pounds peeled fresh heirloom tomatoes, chopped OR 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, stewed tomatoes or chunky-style crushed tomatoes
- 2 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Fresh sweet basil leaves, shredded or torn, for garnish
- Crusty bread or fresh baguette, for serving
Char sweet frying pepper over open flame on stovetop or under hot broiler with oven door cracked to allow steam to escape. Once the skin is evenly charred and blackened all-over, place the pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic until pepper is cool enough to handle. Wipe or scrape the char off the pepper removing the skins. Seed the pepper and thinly slice.
Heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil ripples, add the zucchini, chiles, frying peppers, onions, potatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and saute the vegetables until tender-crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and roasted peppers and allow the tomatoes to breakdown a few minutes. Stir in enough stock to desired consistency - as thin or thick as you like.
Cool completely and store for make-ahead meal.
Reheat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Serve in shallow bowls with shredded or torn sweet basil and crusty, warm bread.