I recently spent a week in New Mexico taking a cooking class on authentic southwestern cooking with Jane Butel. It was so much fun and really educational. Now I'm in the midst of looking at ways I can incorporate the things I learned into my cooking – so you might be seeing a fair amount of southwestern influenced recipes from me for awhile. In this recipe, I roasted a mixture of several kinds of heirloom tomatoes and separately roasted a few poblano peppers. Additional flavors come from chopped basil, onion, balsamic vinegar and blue cheese. I finished it with a sprinkle of finely minced basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar-blue cheese. You can put this through a food mill, or even a blender, to get a smoother soup, but I prefer a more rustic texture I get with my food processor. You can spike up the heat or calm it down by how many roasted poblano peppers you put into it. Adding just one pepper gives the roasted pepper flavor without any heat; four peppers make a pretty spicy soup. It's good hot or cold, but you'll need less salt if you're serving it hot.
Ingredients5 pounds mixture of heirloom tomatoes, big juicy ones are best!
2 tablespoons garlic, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups chopped yellow onion
1 red pepper, chopped
3 poblano peppers
1/3 cup finely chopped basil, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon sherry
1 ounce crumbled gorgonzola blue cheese, divided