Piercing the habanero chile and letting it steep in the cooking liquid (then disposing of the chile) infuses the soup with pleasant heat. If you like your soup hotter, seed and chop the habanero, and sauté it with the vegetables.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound carrots, chopped
1 whole habanero pepper
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped peeled sweet potato
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
How to Make It
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek, onion, and carrots; sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Pierce habanero several times with a knife. Add habanero, ginger, and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add water and sweet potato; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender. Stir in orange juice and coriander. Remove and discard habanero.
Place half of carrot mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a medium bowl; repeat procedure with remaining carrot mixture. Press carrot mixture, in batches, through a large fine sieve into pan; discard solids. Stir honey and salt into carrot mixture; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle into bowls; top with low-fat yogurt. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.
Delicious, easy, and appealing to the eye. The habanero gives it a bit of heat. In the 3-4 times I've made this, I use an immersion blender instead of regular one, and I don't strain it, to keep the fiber from the carrots in the soup. (For company or a formal dinner, straining will probably result in a more elegant soup.)
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