Smoked Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup (with Chipotle Tortilla Crisps)

When we were kids and would go to restaurants (which was very, VERY rarely) we weren’t allowed to order a beverage.  When the waiter asked “And to drink?“, before we could open our mouths my mother would stand on her chair and scream “NOTHING!  Nothing to drink!  WE DON’T NEED DRINKS“.  Drinks cost money and Betty and Norm weren’t spending perfectly good money on liquids.  It’s not like we were destitute.  It’s just one of those funny quirks every family has.  And lemme tell ya, a night at The Ponderosa is slightly less enjoyable when you’re washing down your overcooked steak with a glass of mashed potatoes.

Basically we’re all like camels now.  I can eat an entire bag of Salt & Vinegar potato chips chased with a peanut butter sandwich without injesting a single ounce of liquid.

One liquid we were allowed to purchase was soup.  Soup came with free crackers, so it was kindd of like we were making money.

A year or so ago I took a cooking class.  It revolved around a menu of pork belly and tomato soup.  I don’t even like tomato soup.  I wasn’t thrilled, but it was the only class that still had spots available so I signed up.

The recipe for Smoked Tomato Soup With Roasted Red Peppers proved what I’ve always believed.  Even if you don’t like a certain food, if you eat it prepared properly, by a chef … you’ll probably change your opinion.  (unless we’re talking about Brussells Sprouts)

Chefs have a certain way of doing things the rest of us don’t.  They have techniques and tips and tricks that make what could be a regular meal in the hands of you or I, into something fantastic.  But to do this, they take time and care.  They do the little “extra” things. In the case of this soup, it’s smoking the tomatoes and making not one but two delicious garnishes for the soup.

You could skip these steps and make the soup without them and it would be a perfectly respectable, albeit a little bland tomato soup.  Or you could put your chef’s hat on for the day and make it like this …

Smoked Tomato Soup with Roasted Red Peppers

(serves 2-3)



4 Roma Tomatoes  (smoked)

4 Red Peppers  (roasted)

1/2 onion diced

2 jalapeno peppers (one smoked, one raw)

1 Tbsp. Honey



handful of cilantro

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 Tbsps Sour Cream

1/2 Lime

1 Tortilla

Chipotle Powder

Make sure your tomatoes are ripe but not mushy

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Make sure your red peppers are the same

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Jalapeno peppers should be firm and dark green.  It’s impossible to judge the heat of them … some are hot, some are hotter.

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1.  Roast peppers on gas stove or BBQ until blackened

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2.  Smoke tomatoes and 1 jalapeno pepper until they start to darken.  30 minutes or so depending on the temperature of the smoker.  This jalapeno pepper?  Wayyy overdone.  Just so ya know.  If you don’t own a smoker, you can smoke your tomatoes on a regular BBQ.  Just add some soaked wood chips to your BBQ.

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3.  Meanwhile, sweat the onions in 1 Tbsp. of butter.  (cook them at a very low temperature with the lid on for 10-15 minutes)

4.  Add 1/2 minced jalapeno pepper  and 1/2 minced smoked jalapeno pepper to onions.

5.  Add roasted peppers and smoked tomatoes to onions and jalapenos in pan. (remove skin from peppers and tomatoes)

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6.  Add enough water to cover the ingredients.  About 3 cups.

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7.  Cover and simmer 1/2 an hour.  The longer you cook the soup, the less heat the jalapeno peppers will have.

8.  Remove some liquid from your soup then blend with regular or immersion blender.

9.  Add reserved liquid of soup is too thick.

For Garnish

Tortilla Crisps

1.  Cut tortilla into thin strips.  I use a pizza cutter.

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2.  Deep fry in oil for a minute or so.  Dust with Chipotle Powder.

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Cilantro Whipped Cream Topping

1.  Whip 1/2 cup of whipping cream.

2.  Add as much chopped cilantro as you like to the whipped cream.  I only like a small amount.  A tablespoon or so.

Whipped Cream with Cilantro

3.  Add 2 Tablespoons of sour cream to mixture.

4.  Squeeze in a juice of half a lime (scant).

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5.  Stir mixture and fill piping bag, plastic bag with a hole cut in the corner or plastic bottle with cream mixture.

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6.  Fill bowls with soup, top with a dollop of the  cream mixture or pipe a design on the surface and add a sprinkle of tortilla crisps.

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Enjoy with a chilled glass of mashed potatoes.

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  1. MindyK says:

    Just wondering if you have revised your opinion of Brussels sprouts since the advent of roasted recipes. I hated them (nasty slimy miniature cabbages) until restaurants started serving them crispy with balsamic drizzle and toppings like bacon, seeds, and cheese. Now they are my favorite appetizer.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Um I take that back, I re-read the bag… I’m an idiot.

    • Karen says:

      Linday – Smoking always has a bit of a learning curve. The first time my boyfriend tried to smoke anything he sent up so much smoke he was afraid the neighbours were going to call the fire department. ~ k

  3. Lindsay says:

    Okay, I read a few different sources about using the wood chips to smoke stuff and nobody mentioned anything about having to soak them, the bag didn’t say anything about this either so I naturally assumed that they were good to go and man did I have one firey mess! Now my neighbors probably think I’m some sort of idiot (if they didn’t already) but at least I have more tomatoes!

  4. magali says:

    This looks SO DELICIOUS!!!

  5. Jackie H says:

    Your story for your soup made me laugh, I even remember eating at Ponderosa. My mother didn’t like my sister and I to order drinks either. If we were allowed, we usually had to share one large glass. My mother believed we would fill up on the drink before the food came. I wanted to pass along a hint for the hot peppers. My husband and I can salsa every year and we found out if you have a bowl with about a litre of water and 2tsp bleach when your are done cutting, soak your hand for a little while in the water and the pepper oils will turn to salt.

  6. Jen says:

    Norm and Betty sound a lot like Bill and Susan. From the day I got married, I now make a point of always ordering a drink. Liberated!

    Soup looks fabulous, though after all that work, I wonder if I could stand to see it eaten and disappear.

    • Karen says:

      Jen – Hah! It’s really not that much work. Just more work than regular soup. I smoke the tomatoes and roast the peppers the day before so it doesn’t seem like that much work. :) ~ karen

  7. Deb says:

    I’m reading comments from everyone and it’s not just a Canadian mom thing regarding no drinks with meals. I thought it was just MY family (and we lived in Southern California…Navy family…which might explain it). We got milk after dinner because if we had milk with dinner, we’d fill up on the milk. This made it especially difficult for me because that was the only way I could get the peas down…spoonful of peas, swig of milk, don’t chew, swallow everything at once. To this day, I never even think to serve drinks with meals.

  8. Del says:

    My mother never put liquid on the dinner table except for my grandfather, who had a giant cup of tea (2) with each meal. Consequently, I still eat without the need to guzzle. Husband on the other hand has to have something to wash it all down. Doesn’t matter what it is, just so long as he’s not going to choke on my cooking (does this say something?). But you would think after 38 years of marriage the ‘drinking lecture’ could be put to rest. ‘You should drink with food, it’s not good to consume without liquid, one day… etc. etc. My parents didn’t drink with a meal either, I guess it’s in the genes. Maybe we’re just extra sloshy on the inside and everything slides down. There is room here, for exploration and discovery. Husband has often referred to the possibility of me being extra terrestrial….

    • Karen says:

      Del – I’ve noticed a trend here in the comments. It seems to be that the women didn’t get beverages while the men did. I have no idea what this means, but if any of us are forced into any sort of hostage situation, I think the women will fare better. ~ karen

  9. Evalyn says:

    Wow, the memories. I didn’t get to have a whole hamburger to myself till I went to college. I do remember what a treat it was to get to eat a meal at a restaurant, even if I did have to share my food. Water was the only allowed beverage EXCEPT a milk shake, which we shared. It was a big deal to get the bit left in the original tumbler and not have to use a glass. Buying seprate lunches for five kids was more than my parent’s budget would allow. I still feel a little guilty when I order a drink with my meal.

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