Spicy (or not!) Vegetable Soup

This is a riff on a soup we found in the Williams Sonoma catalogue. If you happen to own a smoker, we're sure it's even more delicious, but here we've traded the smoked taste for some spice. You can make it spicy (or not!) by using fire roasted canned tomatoes and some red pepper flakes. It's a delicious, tasty, and super healthy soup that will warm you up this fall! 


1/4 cup olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

4 red bell peppers and 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch slices

2 cans of plum or crushed tomatoes — here's where you can go for spice by adding fire roasted canned tomatoes

4 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4 inch thick

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch-dice

3 cups chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste — add spice by shaking in some red pepper flakes

Optional: 1 cup of vegetable oil + 1 cup of packed fresh basil leaves (for the basil oil drizzle)



In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. In the same pot over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onion mixture. 

In the same pot over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir the onion mixture into the pot. Transfer 2 cups of the vegetables to a bowl and set aside. 

Add the potato and stock to the pot and simmer until the potato is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In a blender, combine the vegetable oil, basil and a large pinch of salt and process on high for 10 seconds. Transfer the basil oil to a small bowl. Wash out the blender. 

Working in batches, puree the soup in the blender on high for 20 seconds per batch. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the reserved vegetables. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, drizzle with the (optional) basil oil and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

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