Few dishes are more comforting, satisfying, versatile, and global than soup. I’m a big fan of spicy foods, and as winter’s cold has given way to chilly spring evenings, I’ve been inspired to create my own versions of some of the flavorful pepper-spiked international soups that I love.
For instance, Vietnam’s bun bo hue is a meaty broth made from short ribs and pork, amped up with chile oil and fresh ginger, and enhanced with delicate rice noodles. From West Africa, I offer a peanut soup rich with potatoes, turmeric, and kale that gets heat from serranos. From the Caribbean islands, renowned for their fiery soups, a salami and potato bowl has habanero for zing and yuca and corn for depth. Finally, from India, the home of dishes that boast layer upon layer of spice, I share an aromatic curried shrimp soup imbued with velvety coconut milk and fiery jalapeños. Feel free to use the amount of pepper you like in each of these soups. There are soup lovers who like it warm, but some—including me—like it hot.