Are you familiar with smoked paprika? If you aren't, you need to be.
I'll admit, I'm not that sensitive to the nuances of different styles of spices. If a recipe calls for some weird-ass version of a basic spice, I usually just use the basic spice, rather than going to four different stores or having to mail-order it.
Remember my number one favorite-recipe criterion: must be easy to prepare. Mail-order spices don't make the cut.
Smoked paprika, however, is the exception.
I'm not sure what recipe originally turned me on to smoked paprika but, once I tried it, I was hooked. Yes, it's paprika, but it also has a not-so-subtle smoky flavor that you can really taste. And it's readily available in most grocery stores. Booyah.
This tomato soup recipe caught my eye because of the smoked paprika. And because it has olives in it (I know, right?). And because it is topped with roasted potatoes. Too crazy!
Verdict? It's fantastic! This is no ordinary tomato soup. The flavors are smoky and spicy and the briny tang of the olives is the perfect complement. Plus, the roasted potatoes turn it into a meal rather than simply a soup.
And, for once, I'm urging you not to forgo the specialty spice: the smoked paprika is so worth it.
Do you have a favorite specialty spice that you think I need to try? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.
Spanish Tomato Soup with Smoked Paprika Potatoes (adapted from Cuisine At Home)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, divided
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 cups vegetable broth
1 28-ounce can crushed tomtoes
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons orange juice
2/3 cup sliced green olives (unstuffed)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 teaspoons smoked paprika until blended. Add the diced potatoes and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet and roast, stirring once, until crispy and tender (about half an hour).
While the potatoes roast, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a soup pot and saute the onion and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, oregano, cumin and red pepper. Add the sherry to the pan and cook until nearly all of it has evaporated (this goes very quickly).
Next, add the broth and both kinds of tomatoes to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the orange juice. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Remove pot from the heat and stir in the olives and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Top each serving with a portion of roasted potatoes.