Category: bread

Cheesy Broccoli and Potato Soup

I bought some of the Fleishmann’s Simple Homemade bread mix a few weeks ago and I was looking for a nice hearty soup to go with some crusty bread.  I’d pinned this soup recipe from Lulu the Baker a hundred years ago and came across it again, so I finally bit the bullet and made it.  Not only was it hearty and yummy, but it paired PERFECTLY with the bread (which, by the way, was AWESOME).

I love that it has some extra veggies in there, what with the carrots and celery and whatnot.  When it was first cooking, and I had just celery, onion, and carrot sauteeing in butter, I put my head over the pot and just inhaled deeply for a few minutes.  It’s a heavenly smell.  Guess that’s why the Cajuns call it the Holy Trinity.

Broccoli Potato Soup

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup milk
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
2 heaping cups shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot.  Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium heat until tender.  Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 additional minutes.  Add chicken broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender.
  2. Mix flour with water, add, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened.  At this point I also used a potato masher to slightly mush the veggies that were in there.  It allowed the potatoes to also thicken the soup a little.
  3. Add milk and broccoli and cook until broccoli is just tender and soup is heated through.
  4. Stir in cheese and allow to melt.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what the bread looked like when it was done…behold!

bread

I didn’t get paid or perked to say this…this bread is AWESOME.  Slightly sweet, a nice crusty outside and a doughy inside.  I’m excited to try the other varieties.

Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

I’ve made 7 loaves of this bread.  I love it, my husband loves it, my son loves it, our neighbors love it, everyone loves it.  It’s slightly sweet, with a bit of nuttiness from the whole wheat flour.  The recipe makes 4 loaves and freezes beautifully.

The first time I made the recipe, I halved it because I wasn’t sure if it would turn out well.  As soon as I tasted the first slice I regretted only making half the recipe, so I’ll post the full thing here and you can make the decision yourself.

Here’s how I made it:

Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Adapted from Musings of a Housewife

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
Directions:
  1. Combine butter, honey, and 4 1/2 cups warm water in a saucepan.  Heat over low heat until the butter is melted.
  2. Place whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt, in a large mixing bowl.  With the paddle attachment, mix about 15 seconds on stir.  Continuing on stir, add warm water mixture to flour mixture.  Mix for about one minute.
  3. Switch to the dough hook, and add the all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Mix about 2 minutes, or until the dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl, adding flour as necessary (the dough shouldn’t be so sticky that it sticks to your fingers, and it should be smooth and elastic).  Knead on Speed 2 for two more minutes.
  4. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, and turn it over so it’s the greased side is up.  Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size.  Divide into four loaves and place in buttered loaf pans to rise for another hour.
  5. After they’ve risen a second time, bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Remove immediately to a cooling rack, brush the tops with a bit of butter, and let cool.
To store, wrap well in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil.  For added protection, place in a large food storage bag.  Our loaves didn’t last long enough to get freezer burn but I like to be extra careful.

You can find this recipe and many more at these parties.

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Lentil Soup

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s been raining for a month straight and a chill is in the air.  I’ve been cold from the inside out so I knew I wanted to make a big ol’ pot of soup.  I had some lentils that have been sitting in my pantry for…um…years.  Is that dangerous, or just gross?  Whatever, they’re dried and there wasn’t anything funky about them.  So I made a pot of soup with them.

I could have used my cast iron dutch oven to make this soup, but I just wanted something I could throw together and not babysit so I decided to use my crockpot.  Once my veggies were sliced, it was as easy and literally throwing everything in the crockpot and turning it on.  I didn’t even stir it!  Such a rebel, I am.

What goes perfectly with a hearty soup?  Crusty fresh-baked bread of course!  My husband had the car, and my son was sleeping, so I couldn’t run to a bakery or grocery store.  Homemade it would have to be.  I started one recipe that I found online but, as I tend to do, I didn’t read the whole recipe before starting. It needed to proof in the refrigerator overnight!  That wasn’t going to work.

I wound up using this recipe but had to sort of eyeball the additional ingredients.  For instance, the first recipe had a weight amount for the flour, but the second one called for however many CUPS of flour (with no weight listed).  I just had to add flour until it looked right.  Same goes for the yeast.  The first recipe had a teaspoon of yeast, but this one had much more.  I measured it out and then just took one teaspoon out of there.  That seemed to work okay because the dough rose beautifully and it was nice and elastic.

The rolls were a little more dense then I would have preferred but I was still pretty happy with how they turned out.  I’m always impressed with myself when I can make real bread.

So, back to the soup.  So easy.  Here’s how you do it.  Make sure you pay close attention to the directions…it’s pretty complicated.

Crockpot Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups carrot rounds (about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and picked to make sure there are no stones or other yuckies
  • 32-oz container chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp poultry seasoning (or to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (be generous…there’s a lot of soup to season)

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in the crockpot.
  2. Turn it on High for 4-6 hours.

Serves 6

This post is linked up to Cast Party Wednesday, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, It’s a Keeper, Somewhat Simple, Momnivore’s Dilemma, Fireflies and Jellybeans, House of Hepworths, Jane Deere, Mangoes and Chutney, EKat’s Kitchen, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms.

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset.

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Minestrone with Chickpeas and Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Tonight’s menu was a summery Minestrone with Chickpeas, from the September 2004 issue of Cooking Light, and homemade Rosemary Focaccia Bread.

Well.

The soup turned out pretty good.  Standard minestrone, except it didn’t have any pasta in it.  Eric Ripert and Tom Colicchio would NOT approve (you Top Chef fans know what I’m talking about!). Flavorful, and with ingredients I wouldn’t typically include (I’m talking to you, Mr. Eggplant).

The focaccia. Well, my well-intentioned husband again did not read the directions properly and salted the focaccia before the second rise.  The salt interacted and the bread wouldn’t rise again.  We figured we’d bake it anyway and see if maybe we could get some breadsticks or flatbread out of it.  Flavorwise, it was great.  Texture, not so much.  It was what you’d expect from dough that hasn’t risen properly.  Very dense but the edges and corners crisped up nicely, yet still had the doughy top.  Not the focaccia I’d been looking forward to all day, but an acceptable alternative.  Knowing the rosemary came from our garden yesterday made it even better.

soup 004

Minestrone with Chickpeas and Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Ingredients

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup chopped eggplant
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 14-oz cans vegetable broth
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp pesto
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 15.5-oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chopped spinach (about 1 ounce)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat (I used a Dutch oven). Coat pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add eggplant and next 5 ingredients (through garlic); saute 4 minutes or until onion is tender.
  3. Stir in broth, tomatoes and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
  5. Add parsley and next 5 ingredients (through chickpeas); cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in spinach; serve immediately.
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A few changes I made:

  • I didn’t use a bay leaf. Didn’t have any and didn’t figure it’d make that big of a difference.
  • I used dried parsley and oregano, even though I have perfectly good parsley and oregano plants in our garden.  Just didn’t plan properly.  Oops.  So I reduced the amount by about half, and made sure to crush it between my fingers to release the flavors and oils.
  • I don’t have sea salt, so I used kosher salt.  Not sure it made any difference.
  • I forgot to chop my spinach.  I just used the baby spinach in a bag.  It was fine.
  • I kept my veggies fairly chunky.  I think next time I’d cut them a little smaller.