Will one habanero ruin my soup?
I make a chicken soup using the following general recipe:
sweat the following in olive oil:
1 - 2 onions
2 ribs celery
2 serrano peppers
1 red chili pepper (whatever I find that looks good)
2 chipotle peppers
3 cloves garlic
add cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cayenne, paprika, oregano, etc. to taste
1 28-oz can tomatoes
1 - 1.5 quarts chicken stock
simmer for a while, puree, then add:
2 29-oz. cans black beans
shredded chicken (I use 1 whole Latin-flavor rotisserie chicken)
I serve this over rice with a little bit of cheese.
I was feeling a little adventurous at the grocery store yesterday & bought a smallish habanero. Will it make the soup significantly more spicy? As you can see from the recipe, this makes a huge pot of soup.
I'm quite tolerant of spicy food, but I know habaneros are significantly hotter than other peppers and have never cooked with them. I don't want to ruin a whole pot of soup (especially with all the chopping involved).
If you like spicy food, I can't see why it would be a problem. But if you're nervous (after all, there are already some chipotles in there, although I always feel they give more smoke than heat) start with maybe half the pepper. Oops, just saw all the other peppers too. Hmm, I like spicy food, but maybe the habanero is gilding the lily.
Are you thinking of using it to sub for any of the other chiles or using it in addition? Do you feel the soup isn't spicy enough with the peppers you already include? What about pureeing the habanero and making a little salsa with that (garlic, olive oil, salt, etc.) in the blender and if you want extra heat, drizzle the habanero puree into the bowl?
i wouldn't do it, but then again, habaneros scare the peewaddy out of me ever since i minced one and put it on a salad, not knowing about the heat level of habaneros. yikes!
If you're not sure, prick a pepper a few times with a fork and drop it whole into the soup. If at some time during the simmering you decide the soup is already spicy enough, just pluck the pepper out.