‘Red hot chili pepper’ soup

‘Red hot chili pepper’ soup

William Meppem

This spicy soup was created when the American band was touring Australia in 1992. Use between one and three chillies – or more, of course – depending on your stamina. Squat, thick-skinned peppers are best for this soup, as they are easy to skin.


Quantity Ingredient
3 whole large red peppers
2 whole medium onions
2 garlic cloves
1-3 bullet chillies
60ml olive oil
4 whole tomatoes, skinned and diced
40ml sherry
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
6 sprigs fresh thyme, tied with string
2 whole bay leaves
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon honey


  1. Roast the peppers over a gas flame, or under the grill, turning them constantly until they are blackened and blistered all over. This takes around 20 minutes. Put them into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow them to steam and soften for another 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, slice the onions finely and chop the garlic and chillies, seeds included. Sauté in the oil over a low–medium heat until they are soft and translucent. Then add the peeled, roughly diced tomatoes and sauté for a further 20 minutes. (To skin, pour boiling water over the tomatoes, pierce the skin and peel it off.)
  3. Once the peppers are cooled, peel off the skins, making sure you remove any blackened bits that will make the soup bitter and unattractive. Remove the seeds too, and then roughly chop them and add them to the tomato–onion mixture.
  4. Add the sherry and stock and cook a further 5 minutes. Season with pepper and salt. Add the bundle of thyme and the bay leaves and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Liquidise the mixture until it is very smooth, which will take about 3 minutes on high speed.
  5. If you are fussy about presentation, tip the soup through a fine sieve which, will also remove any chilli seeds. Thin the soup down with a little extra stock or water if required.
  6. Serve it with a blob of goat’s cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Middle East
Middle Eastern
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