Carrot Habanero Soup

This wax-type chile originated in Hungary and was brought to the US in the 1930’s. Yellow chiles of several different varieties are a staple in Eastern European cuisine. These chiles can be pickled, battered and fried or used in salsas and salads.

Hungarian Wax chiles have alot of flavor without the bitter aftertaste that you can get from many of the green types of chile. Try substituting some of these in your chile recipes next time.

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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)


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, and 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 and process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a medium bowl, and repeat procedure with remaining carrot mixture. Press carrot mixture, in batches, through a large fine sieve into pan and discard solids. Stir honey and salt into carrot mixture, and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle into bowls and top with low-fat yogurt. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.