Sunday, April 25, 2010

Creamy Tomato-Bean Purée with Crispy Basil-Capocolla-Bread Topping for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sunday

OK, it's true...I basically made a soup in order to eat the topping. I was thinking about Ina Garten's recipe for Pappa Al Pomidoro (here), and more than the soup, I was thinking about the topping of bread, pancetta and basil, roasted with olive oil in the oven--yum! I had a multigrain baguette, fresh basil and some spicy capocolla (similar to pancetta but with a spicy kick), all on hand so I was good to go. Topping decided on, I needed a quick and easy soup to go underneath it and decided to throw a quick creamy tomato soup together in my Vitamix, using cannellini beans for the creamy factor. Easy, good and perfect with the crunchy topping.

Tomato-Bean Purée with Crispy Basil-Capocolla-Bread Topping
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 2 large servings)

1 box of Pomi tomatoes or 1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 (jarred) roasted red peppers
1 can cannellini beans (low sodium preferred)
pinch each of dried oregano, basil, & thyme
small pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

topping (see recipe below)

Vitamix or High-Power Blender: Put all ingredients except for topping into the Vitamix and blend on high for about 5 minutes until steam starts to rise from lid.


No Blender: Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Purée in blender or in pot with immersion blender until smooth.

Serve in shallow bowls with a scoop of the topping.

Crispy Basil-Capocolla-Bread Topping
adapted from Ina Garten

1 1/2 cups crusty multigrain bread, diced
2 oz thick cut capocolla, pancetta or other cured meat, diced
leaves from 1 small bunch basil
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper

Place the bread cubes, capocolla, and basil on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, until all the ingredients are crisp. The basil leaves will turn dark and crisp.

Notes/Results: Creamy and good, with a nice little kick from the dried chili pepper flakes and spicy capocolla. The soup goes together in no time flat in a high-powered blender but is still quick and easy when it is made on the stove top. And the topping...well...I could just sit and eat a bowl of it by itself--and it is a good reminder of the genius of Ina. Quick, easy and delicious--what more could you want in a bowl of soup?!

Let's see who is in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week:

Tigerfish from Tezcape--An Escape to Food is here and with a healthy and healing Watercress and Daikon Soup. Tigerfish says, "This soup was somehow created because I was eager to heal myself from a irritable "stubborn phlegm and breathless coughing" symptom. Daikon is known to be good for soothing a bad throat, thinning mucus (clears phlegm) and nourish the "Qi" (energy) in the body. As I understand, watercress is supposed to be a natural expectorant. As a critic of my own soup, I would say this soup is slightly "Over-Done" or Chinese call it 画蛇添足 (Chinese idiom which means: drawing a snake and adding feet to it). My personal opinion is to leave watercress alone when making soup. Somehow, adding another vegetable seems to have stolen that distinct unique bittersweet taste of watercress. The soup still tastes good (there is no big clash of flavors) and definitely healing (which is most importantly what I wanted to achieve in this soup)."

The wonderful Kim from Stirring the Pot brought a soup and a salad this week. For her soup she tried Mark Bittman's Chile Bisque. Kim says, "I love the gorgeous pumpkin color! The bisque is packed with smoky flavor and is probably not for everyone. It is definitely hot and spicy, but the main flavor that comes through is the smokiness from the peppers. There was no way that I could eat the soup straight up, so I garnished it with some fried tortilla strips, grated monterey jack cheese, and chives. Even with the garnishes, this is a very strong-flavored soup and is probably best served in small portions. I would recommend this soup to someone who likes both spicy hot and smoky. It is a gorgeous and unique recipe."

For her salad, Kim made one of my favorites, a Green Pea Salad, this one from Paula Dean. She says, "This is a great springtime or even summertime side dish! Instead of having the standard potato or macaroni salad at your next cookout or barbecue, try this green pea salad. It is the perfect addition to your grilled, barbecued, or even fried chicken. I really like how Paula lightened up this recipe by cutting the mayo with a bit of vinegar. The little chunks of egg and bacon add delicious flavor and color to the dish.This green pea salad is going to be a new side dish here at Stirring the Pot. It was a hit with everybody. Best of all, I don't even feel bad about eating it!"

Lea Ann from Mangoes, Chili and Z, made a spring-like and lyrically-named Strawberry Fields Forever Salad full of chicken, greens and gorgeous red berries. She says, "In the last 24 hours in Colorado we’ve seen rain, hail, tornadoes, sleet balls, lightening, thunder, street flooding, it’s currently snowing like the dickens and I think I just spotted a swarm of locust fly through. And as one of my friends on Facebook said “cue volcano”. What does all of this mean? It’s Springtime in the Rockies and it’s salad season.Speaking of floods, strawberries are everywhere right now. It seems you can’t walk into any market in Denver without a big display of baskets of perfect strawberries pleading to be adopted. A recent trip to Costco found a large flat of strawberries in my cart, in my car, and now in my refrigerator. Let’s make a salad! Not really using a recipe, I just used what I had on hand." The result, Lea Ann says is "a fabulous mid-week light dinner. "

Debby from A Feast for the Eyes made an America's Test Kitchen recipe, their Antipasto Pasta Salad which had not caught her eye until watching an episode of the show. Debby says, "This salad takes a few steps to prepare, but I have to say that each step was worth the effort. It's quite colorful, don't you think? Since I'm not a big fan of pepperoni, I found that flavor to be a little too dominate for my own personal taste. However, my husband and son loved this recipe. They thought the pepperoni ratio was just right for them-- so adjust according to your personal preference. I picked out the mushrooms and ate them with great relish, they are that good. This salad is hearty enough as a main dish, but could also be a side dish. From start to finish, this salad took over an hour to prepare. I would definitely make it again, especially for a potluck. It's flavorful, colorful and I think it would be a big hit"

A Greek-Style Orzo Salad made the perfect pairing for a crepe dinner for Natashya at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. The healthy and colorful salad, from genius Mark Bittman, is chock full olives, onions, tomatoes, feta and herbs. Natashya says that this "salad will be better if it can sit out at room temperature for up to an hour before serving." There was no clue as to how this salad actually tasted on her post, but it looks delicious and like a perfect side dish for any meal!

We have one sandwich this week, a gorgeous Pulled Brisket Sandwich on Homemade Bun from the uber-talented Foodycat. Foodycat says, "I had a brisket in the fridge, but not enough space for a tupperware for curing it. So I decided to have a crack at that classic of Southern American cooking, the pulled brisket. Now the last time I tried to do pulled meat, it wasn't very successful. I guess an English supermarket chain aren't the best people to get recipes from for American dishes. So I turned to an American website, and found this recipe, which very conveniently used the chipotle in adobo that I bought recently. I don't have a slow cooker, so I did it in a Le Creuset in the oven on a low temperature for 4 hours, and that was perfect. And that was the meat sorted out. But of course, woman cannot live on meat alone - even lovely luscious, sauce-rich shreds of pulled brisket. I've had an ambition to bake good hamburger buns, ever so slightly sweet, not too heavy but substantial enough to hold together under a weight of delicious filling. All in all, these were fantastic sandwiches!"

Everything looks wonderful, and you can tell it is becoming salad season for many. ;-) Mahalo to everyone who participated this week! If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, click on the Souper Sunday logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a fantastic week!


  1. I chuckled reading your first sentence. Sounds and looks great!

  2. Deb, the topping to your soup has all of my favorite combinations. I really like your version of tomato soup...adding beans is brilliant! It's healthy and looks really flavorful. I'm off to bookmark some other recipe that you included in your roundup. They all look terrific.

  3. Your soup looks wonderful and LOL, I want that topping too. I'm really loving that pea salad, thanks for Souper Sunday Deb.

  4. Mmm, eat the topping first!

    Delicious soup, thanks so much for doing the round-up.

    Did I not say how delicious the salad was? That's what I get for posting in the morning... sooo not a morning person... :)

  5. Thanks Deb for the soups, salads and sammies :) ...they can make a complete meal

  6. Kat--I say the truth! At least it was better than just making the topping to sit and eat. ;-) (I guess!)

    Debby--thanks! And thank you for adding your yummy salad to the line-up of recipes this week.

    Lea Ann--The topping is pretty crave-inducing! And Kim's pea salad looks really awesome--as does your chicken salad--in fact I'll have the salad sampler plate and have a bit of each! ;-)

    Natashya--thanks for participating. No, the only comment you made about the salad was letting it sit before eating it. Not much to work with there!

    Tigerfish--we could have a wonderful meal with all of these. ;-) Thanks for adding your soup to the menu!

  7. So many wonderful summery flavours! The weather is finally warming up! The pea salad looks particularly delicious.

  8. i haven't made an Ina recipe in a LONG time. Now I ask myself - why?

    this looks fantastic. That soup looks so thick and delicious...i would love a bowl.

  9. That bread topping on your soup look awesome Deb!! It really jazzes things up a bit, doesn't it? Thanks for another great roundup.

  10. Ooo, that topping sounds just excellent! Yum!

  11. That tomato bean puree looks and sounds amazing.

  12. Deb, I love the topping on your soup. It really does look delicious. You've also put together another great round-up. Kudos...Mary

  13. love this soup so tasty and healthy


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