Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: A Chile & A Spoon Recipe Challenge

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Chile & A Spoon Recipe Challenge

Yes, I'm doing another recipe challenge. I can't help it...I enjoyed doing the last one so much and the people at Marxfoods are great to work with.

The Challenge: Create an original recipe using at least one of  six types of chili peppers provided by Marxfoods. The only other stipulation is that the dish must be something typically eaten with a spoon.

The Peppers: The six types of dried Chilies included in my mystery box were Cascabel, Tepin, Thai, Smoked Serrano and Puya.

Step One: Sample the peppers.  Yes, I tried every one and I'm glad I did because they were all so very different in taste and in heat level.

Step Two: Coming up with an idea.  After only a small sample the Smoked Serrano had me hooked. I knew that was the chili I was going to focus on.  The smell reminded me of bacon so my initial thought was breakfast...I was leaning toward oatmeal.  After much trial and error and some negative feedback from friends I decided to go with something more traditional.

Step Three: The creation:  Creamy Carrot & Cannellini Bean Soup with Smoked Serrano Chili Oil Drizzle

Creamy Carrot & Cannellini Bean Soup with Smoked Serrano Chili Oil Drizzle

1 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, diced
2 Tbs fresh Rosemary, minced
1 Tbs fresh Oregano, minced
2 Tbs tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
3 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Add oil to skillet and saute garlic until golden. Add carrots and herbs and cook until soft. When almost soft make a well in center of pan and add tomato paste. Cook a few minutes until it turns a deep red color then mix with carrots and continue cooking.

In a large pot over medium heat add 3 cans of cannellini beans and your chicken stock reserving about a 1/4 cup. Add cooked carrots and herbs to this pot.  Take your reserved stock and deglaze the carrot pan. When finished add this liquid to the soup pot.   Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer for about 10-12 minutes. 

Using an immersion blender mix soup until creamy right in the pot.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon into bowls, drizzle with Smoked Serrano Chili Oil (see below) and serve immediately.

Smoked Serrano Chili Oil

1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 Dried Smoked Serrano Chilies

Cut chilies into a few large pieces place in oil over low heat.  Continue to cook until oil becomes fragrant about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and use.


  1. What a fun challenge! I love the idea of pairing the spicy chili with the sweet carrot and starchy cannellini bean. Definitely some complimentary flavor pairings going on there!

  2. I agree with Joanne...what a great challenge! I love the thought of that chili oil, and I imagine it would be great in a variety of dishes. Thank you for sharing. I hope you are having a lovely Saturday afternoon!

  3. Oh, love the idea of the chili oil. This will be great way to use up some of my dried chilies. Thanks! Good luck.

  4. I like the sweet/spicy combo, too, as well as using the pureed beans to thicken the soup. Adding the oil at the end is a great way to adjust the heat level for different tastes, too. It's a well thought out soup. (The oatmeal idea was inspired, btw, even if it didn't pan out!)