Spicy red pepper soup


1 or 2 ancho chilies
3 tbsp virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp mix marjoram, thyme, & savory
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced

1 leek, white part only, sliced
1 lb roasted red bell peppers, sliced
1 tsp salt
1 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped; juice reserved
6 cups water
8 oz savoy or smooth cabbage, chopped

Garnish with fresh herbs: parsley, marjoram, thyme

How to prepare

Remove the stems, seeds, and veins from the chilies. Tear the flesh into a few large pieces. Cover them with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes; then puree them in a blender. Slowly warm the olive oil in a soup pot with the herbes de provence or mixed herbs, bay leaves, and cloves until they are aromatic. Add the garlic and cook about 1/2 minute, without letting it brown; then stir in the onion, leek, peppers, and salt. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the oil, cover the pot, and leave on a flame-tamer over very low heat. Check the pot after 5 minutes and give a stir. If the vegetables are sticking at all, add 1/2 cup water, and continue cooking another 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 4 tbsp of the chili puree, and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil; then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Add the cabbage, cover with a lid, and cook as slowly as possible for 40 minutes. Let the soup cool briefly; then puree it for 1 minute or longer so that it is fully blended, or it will separate in the bowls. Return the soup to the pot and season to taste with salt, and more chili if desired. Serve the soup with a fresh garnish of chopped parsley, marjoram, or thyme leaves. Serves 4 to 6

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