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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pappa al Pomodoro (Tomato and Bread Soup)

One of my cousin loves tomato soup but can't have the tomato soup with cream or milk. He was visiting us and I was thinking how can I make him tomato soup which he would be able to enjoy. I found the answer in one of the Tuscans soups and it is called Pappa al pomodoro. The tomato soup with a day old bread make this very unique and tasty recipe. The bread soak up most of the the acidic elements from tomatoes so people with acidity problems can also enjoy this soup. Crusty day old italian bread is perfect with this soup. This is the perfect to warm up a little in the cold nights. This soup can be served two different ways. One is to blend the bread with the soup and the other is to put bite-size pieces of bread in the hot soup.


  • 14 oz canned Diced Tomatoes
  • 14 oz canned Pureed Tomatoes
  • 1 Loaf Day Old Italian Bread, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 Quart Vegetable Stock
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flacks
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzle
  • 5-6 Basil Leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Papper to taste


1. Heat oil in sauce pan and add garlic. Saute for 10 seconds.

2. Add diced tomatoes with juice, pureed tomatoes, red pepper flacks, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock. Mix well, cover with lid and Bring to a boil.

3. Now reduce the heat and simmer the soup forr 20-25 minutes.

4. Add bread and stir. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.

5. Serve hot with Olive oil, and chopped basil on top of soup.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Stuffed Poblano Chilli With Roasted Red BellPepper in Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Poblano is mexican chili come from Puebla state of Mexico. In Mexico, this chilli is most famous after Jalapeno peppers. It is one of mild chili family and taste is similar to green bell pepper. There are a lots of ways to eat this chilli; in salsa, rice, tacos, and buritos to name a few. The stuffed poblano is more famous here in US. The stuffing can consist anything like meats, beans, and/or vegetables. In Mexico, they stuff it with cactus. Dried poblano (aka Ancho Chilli) is used to make mole sauces, taco seasoning etc.

This is easy recipe but looks like something they serve in fancy restaurants. Traditionally, peppers are fried and than stuffed. Instead of frying, I roasted peppers by broiling and it came out equally tasty. I like red bell-pepper and balsamic reduction sauce combination with refried beans very much. You can use high-quallty aged balsamic vinegar for amazing sweet and savory taste.


  • 4 Poblano Chilli
  • 1 cup Refried Beans
  • 1 Garlic Cloves, grated
  • 2 tbsp Taco Seasning
  • 1 tbsp Jelapeno, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Stock
  • Salt to taste

-- For Red Bell Pepper Sauce

3 Roasted Red Bell Pepper
1/4 cup Vegetable Stock
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Lemon Juice
Pinch of Salt

-- For Balsamic Reduction Sauce

1 cup Aged Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Sugar

-- For Serving

Chhedar Cheese
Sour Cream
Corn kernels


1. Preheat oven on 400F. Brush poblano peppers with little oil.

2. Bake peppers on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then broil it until skins to be blackened.

3. Put peppers in bowl and cover it with plastic wrap for 5 minutes.

4. Peel the blackened skin and remove seed peppers. Leave the stem on.

5. In the mean time, mix roasted red bell peppers, salt, lemon juice, vegetable stock, and paprika in blender and blend it to sauce.

5. In Sauce pan, boil balsamic vinegar and sugar once and then simmer on medium heat until it is reduced by half and thickened.

6. In the bowl, mix re-fried beans, little water, garlic, taco seasoning, vegetable stock, and jalapeno and microwave for 1 minute.

-- For Severing

1. In oven safe plate, take ladle-ful roasted red bell pepper sauce.

2. Take chilli and stuffed with beans.

3. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese and put under the broiler until cheese is melted.

4. Serve hot with sour cream and drizzle of balsamic reduction sauce.