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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Spicy Tomato Soup with Toasted Pasta and Feta

Spicy Tomato Soup with Toasted Pasta and Feta

50 minutes plus cooling

Spicy Tomato Soup with Toasted Pasta and Feta

4 Servings

This simple vegetarian soup made hearty with toasted pasta was inspired by a recipe in “The Lebanese Kitchen” by Salma Hage. A cinnamon stick and a whole habanero chili, pierced a few times with a knife so the chili releases its flavor into the mix, give the soup complexity and spiciness. If you have an immersion blender, use it instead of a conventional blender and puree the soup directly in the pot until smooth.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
¾ cup small-shape pasta, such as ditalini or elbow macaroni
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 habanero chili, kept whole but pierced about 4 times with the tip of a knife
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon white sugar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Crumbled feta cheese, to serve
Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve

  • ¾

    cup small-shape pasta, such as ditalini or elbow macaroni

  • 2

    pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1

    habanero chili, kept whole but pierced about 4 times with the tip of a knife

  • 1

    cinnamon stick

  • 1

    teaspoon white sugar

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • Crumbled feta cheese, to serve

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large pot over medium, combine 1 tablespoon of oil and the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
    See Demo
    spicy-tomato-feta-soup-step-1
  2. 02
    To the same pot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the tomatoes, onion, chili, cinnamon, sugar, 1½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, cover and simmer, stirring once or twice, until the tomatoes and onions are completely softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand uncovered for about 15 minutes to cool slightly. Using tongs, gently squeeze the chili, allowing the juices to fall into the pot, then discard. Remove and discard the cinnamon.
    See Demo
    spicy-tomato-feta-soup-step-2
  3. 03
    Working in batches if needed, transfer the mixture to a blender, filling the jar no more than two-thirds full. Holding the lid in place, blend on low, then gradually increase to high and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Return the puree to the pot, stir in another 2 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high.
    See Demo
    spicy-tomato-feta-soup-step-3
  4. 04
    Add the pasta and cook over medium, stirring often, until tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with feta, additional pepper and drizzled with oil.
    See Demo
    spicy-tomato-feta-soup-step-4
Tip: Don't blend the tomato mixture immediately after simmering. Allowing it to cool for about 15 minutes and filling the jar no more than two-thirds full helps ensure the liquid won't overflow when the blender is turned on. Starting on slow and gradually increasing the speed to high, rather than blending on high from the get-go, also helps prevent splatter.
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Spicy Tomato Soup with Toasted Pasta and Feta

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

50 minutes

plus cooling

Tip

Don't blend the tomato mixture immediately after simmering. Allowing it to cool for about 15 minutes and filling the jar no more than two-thirds full helps ensure the liquid won't overflow when the blender is turned on. Starting on slow and gradually increasing the speed to high, rather than blending on high from the get-go, also helps prevent splatter.

Ingredients
  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve

  • ¾

    cup small-shape pasta, such as ditalini or elbow macaroni

  • 2

    pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1

    habanero chili, kept whole but pierced about 4 times with the tip of a knife

  • 1

    cinnamon stick

  • 1

    teaspoon white sugar

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • Crumbled feta cheese, to serve

Step 1 of 4

Cook Pasta

1
 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¾
 cup small-shape pasta, such as ditalini or elbow macaroni

In a large pot over medium, combine 1 tablespoon of oil and the pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Step 2 of 4

Combine Ingredients For Soup

1
 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2
 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
1
medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1
habanero chili
1
cinnamon stick
1
teaspoon white sugar
teaspoons kosher salt
½
teaspoon ground black pepper

To the same pot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the tomatoes, onion, chili, cinnamon, sugar, 1½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, cover and simmer, stirring once or twice, until the tomatoes and onions are completely softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand uncovered for about 15 minutes to cool slightly. Using tongs, gently squeeze the chili, allowing the juices to fall into the pot, then discard. Remove and discard the cinnamon.

Step 3 of 4

Puree Mixture

Working in batches if needed, transfer the mixture to a blender, filling the jar no more than two-thirds full. Holding the lid in place, blend on low, then gradually increase to high and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Return the puree to the pot, stir in another 2 cups water and bring to a simmer over medium-high.

Step 4 of 4

Add Pasta

Crumbled feta cheese, to serve
ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil to serve

Add the pasta and cook over medium, stirring often, until tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with feta, additional pepper and drizzled with oil.

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Spicy Tomato Soup with Toasted Pasta and Feta

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