I like to serve this soup with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a splash of really flavorful vinegar on each serving. It’s also delicious served cold, and it can be garnished with a few cooked shrimp, a mound of crabmeat, or a bit of goat cheese.
Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a 6-qt. soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, and carrots and sauté until very soft but not browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the broth and turn the heat to high. Add the roasted peppers and any reserved juices, as well as the star anise, salt, pepper, and cayenne. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Purée the soup 2 cups at a time in a blender, with all the basil leaves going in the blender along with the first 2 cups of soup. Purée each batch of soup in the blender for at least 1 min. (Vent the lid and hold a folded dishtowel over the lid to prevent leaks.) Combine all the puréed soup in one container, taste, and add more salt and pepper to bring all the flavors into balance. (For a thinner soup, strain through a wide-mesh sieve.) Serve with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1 1/2 cup serving;
Photo: Martha Holmberg