Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Capresé Style Soup

Maryland was hit by a bit of an ice storm last night.  While the evening started off with a scenic snowfall of about an inch, it was quickly thwarted by the bully of the meteorological world, the evil "Wintery Mix." Soon, snow had turned to slush, and slush had turned to ice, and  every outdoor surface was coated with an ice glaze.  While somewhat pretty from within my nice cozy house, it is not fun to deal with.  Thankfully, it wasn't a very severe storm - the main roads were cleared relatively quickly, and to my knowledge there weren't any downed tree or power line problems.

So, while slipping and sliding my way up my front walk today after work, I began to think about how excited I am for summer.  A food blogging friend and I were just lamenting the lack of culinary creativity that strikes us in the dead of winter, and how everything is much more fun when you can grill outside, stock up on amazingly fresh and delicious veggies at your farmers market, enjoy homegrown herbs, and more.  Craving warmer summer days, I decided to do a winter version of a summer classic, and make a fresh tomato and pesto soup - let's call it Capresé style.   While nothing can touch the awesomeness of fresh summer tomatoes, the hubby and I enjoyed a 'sneak peak' of summer flavors in a dish that was still nice and comforting on such a crummy winter day.

So without further ado, here's my Capresé Style Soup


  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half.
  • 1 cup crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2-3 chicken breasts - cooked and chopped into bite size pieces (I used a time saving rotisserie chicken!)
  • 1 box of Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 cup store bought pesto sauce (I used Trader Joe's brand)
  • 1/3 box of small tube pasta of your choice (I used mini Penne)
  • 1 T flour
  • EVOO
  • Butter
  • S&P

Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat in a little EVOO and butter until tender and the juices have released, 3-5 minutes.  Add in the shallots and a bit of S&P and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and the bell pepper and sauté until the bell peppers are tender. Add in the flour, and stir well.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.  The pan might get very dry, but that's okay, just keep cooking and stirring.  Next, stir in your chicken and the grape tomatoes.  Cook until the tomatoes gets soft, about 3 minutes.  Then, add in your pesto and mix well.  Add in the chicken stock as well as 1 cup of water.  Stir well, and bring up to a boil.  Add the dry pasta, and instantly reduce heat to low.  Stir occasionally, and cook until the pasta is al dente.  Super easy, and pretty quick.  Enjoy!

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