Spicy Tomato and Shrimp Soup (Serves 6 to 8)
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large onion, diced
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more as needed
• 1/4 cup tomato paste
• 8 cups unsalted chicken broth
• 2 cups dry ditalini pasta
• 1 1/2 pounds uncooked peeled and deveined medium shrimp
• 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart or larger Dutch oven over a medium-high heat until it's simmering. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add the tomato paste and sauté until the paste has turned a deeper red, about 2 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for around 10 minutes.
3. Add the pasta and continue to simmer until its al dente, about 10 minutes. Taste and season the soup with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes as needed.
4. Stir in the shrimp and simmer until they have turned pink and opaque, roughly 3-4 minutes. Thinly slice the basil and serve the soup immediately, as it does not keep well.