Recipe for creamy coconut vegetarian soup with the smoky flavour of roasted jalapenos
6 jalapeno peppers
6 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in 2/3 cup hot water for 30 minutes, drained, soaking liquid reserved and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 cup vegetable stock, or more as needed
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup almond milk
5 to 6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat an oven to 400F/205C and line a grill pan with foil. Cut the jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place the jalapenos face down on the pan. Roast for 15 minutes or until they begin to shrivel and slightly darken. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, remove the stem and finely chop. Set aside.
Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in 2/3 cup hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside the soaking water. Finely chop the tomatoes and set aside.
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and carrot and sauté until softened – about 6 minutes. Now add the garlic and saute for another minute.
Add the butter or the remaining olive oil and heat. After a minute, add the chickpea flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook for another few minutes, stirring frequently.
Next add the jalapenos, stir a few times, and then pour in the vegetable stock, sun-dried tomatoes and their soaking water, tomato and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the almond milk and gently simmer for another 8 minutes or until thickened.
If desired, partially blend the soup with an immersion blender, or scoop out a cup or two and blend in a countertop blender before returning to the pan. Add more stock or water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Stir in the mushrooms, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for another 10 minutes before serving. Stir in the salt and pepper to taste and serve hot or warm.