Sunday, December 24, 2017

Creamy Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with Fried Basil Croutons for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Since it's Christmas Eve, a cheery red soup seems festive--especially when it a Creamy Red Pepper & Tomato Soup and it gets garnished up with fried ciabatta bread croutons with fried green basil leaves peaking out. I kept the soup simple--all pantry items so the soup is pretty low-effort and makes a nice light lunch or a starter for a holiday meal.

The soup is made with coconut milk, so it's vegan. The topping is optional but it takes a good soup to great and is quick and easy to prepare. Make extra though because you will find yourself nibbling the croutons as you fry them up. They are inspired by an Ina Garten recipe for her Pappa Al Pomidoro soup, but made without pancetta and on the stove top--because sometimes I just don't want to turn on the oven.

Creamy Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with Fried Basil Croutons
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 6)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper or Aleppo pepper
1 large jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

1 28 oz can or box chopped tomatoes
1 28 oz can or box crushed tomatoes
1 cup good vegetable stock
2 tsp sugar or agave syrup
2 cups full fat coconut milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fried Basil Croutons for serving, optional (recipe below)

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium and saute onions, garlic, and herbs until tender and onions start to turn translucent. Add red peppers, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and sugar/agave and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Puree the soup in blender in batches then return to pot. Add coconut milk and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes--until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot in bowls with a generous helping of Fried Basil Croutons on top.  

Fried Basil Croutons
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen

4 tablespoons good olive oil, separated
4 cups (1-inch or so ) diced ciabatta cubes
1 small bunch fresh basil leaves (about 28-30 leaves), larger leaves chopped

sea salt and pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil a large frying pan over medium heat. Add croutons and basil leaves, drizzle with the remaining two tablespoons olive oil and stir--so the bread is well-coated. Cook over medium heat, stirring and tossing frequently, for about 10 minutes--until basil is crispy and croutons are nicely browned. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  

Serve warm on top of soup. 

Notes/Results: The soup is excellent--creamy, sweet and full of great flavor (and it's packed with vitamin C if a cold has found you this holiday season) but let's be real--it's the topping that truly makes this soup. Put those warm and crispy cubes of bread and savory basil leaves on top and you have a party. If you can stop eating it long enough to top the soup. It's worth the splurge in olive oil--use the good stuff and good ciabatta bread too. I will happily make the soup and the topping again.

It's a quiet holiday week in the Souper Sundays kitchen but lovely Tina is here with me--let's have a look at what she brought.

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared these tasty Black Bean Burgers and a Black Bean and Rice Soup she made from the leftovers when her not-so-bean-loving husband was out of town. She said, "You know what else I like?  Black bean burgers.  That's not on the list for never-again-foods but it's not his favorite so.....this last trip I had two black bean burgers.  And, because beans are an important part of a 95% vegetarian diet - I made a soup with leftover rice, black beans, tomatoes and onions."

Mahalo to Tina for joining me at Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on the post you link up to be included.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have the happiest and healthiest of holidays!


  1. I love using coconut milk and ironically will link up a soup (tomorrow) that uses that ingredient as well! Hope your holidays were merry and bright.

  2. At the last minute I’ve brought a sandwich spread, or salad, depends how you use it. Love your soup, perfect warming meal with these crazy temps. I agree with Debra, I like cooking with coconut milk. It’s such a smooth texture and adds so much flavor.

    Happy New Year!


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