February 2nd, 2010

Snow Day Bread and Soup

snow day 3

It has been at least eight years since we’ve had REAL snow in Nashville, the kind that starts in the morning as flurries and builds throughout the day, big fat clusters tumbling down, blanketing the trees, the front yards, the roads, diffusing light, muffling sound…. ultimately bringing the city to a standstill.

Wow. It got really quiet.

And, while I was home, cozy (and succumbing to a headcold), I decided to enjoy the snowy shut-down by making simple comforts: bread and soup.

I had enough of the necessary ingredients: and handful of vegetables for the soup pot, some flour and an unexpired package of dry yeast for bread. These are, after all, basic foods.

soup ingredients

With broccoli as the star, mirepoix the reliable supporting players, and potatoes comprising the creamy base, it doesn’t take long to make this hearty soup. It also isn’t essential that you add any dairy to achieve richness, although a modest cupful of lowfat milk added at the end is rather nice. A few shavings of sharp white cheddar, too.

But this is a much lighter version of Broccoli-Cheddar that is often served out in the world, all floury and cheesy and fat-laden.
The potatoes add the creaminess, body to the soup. As they cook along, they all but disappear.

like under a blanket of snow.

saute down veg

Chunks of potatoes will break down, adding flavor and body to the soup.

getting thicker

The soup is beginning to thicken, a good time to add the broccoli florets.

Creamy Broccoli Soup
3 T. Olive Oil
4 medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 head Broccoli, stems and florets separated, stems chopped
2 medium Onions, chopped
3 Carrots, chopped
3 Celery, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 1/2 qts. vegetable stock, or water
Salt-n-Peppa to taste
1 cup lowfat Milk
1/2 cup shredded Vermont Cheddar

Warm olive oil in a stockpot on medium heat. Sauté the diced potatoes for 5 minutes. Add broccoli stems and the mirepoix (carrots-onions-celery) and stir into the mix, sauteing another 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and black pepper.

The vegetables will begin to soften, and stick to the bottom and sides of the pot. Keep stirring, then add the vegetable stock (or water)

The soup will get a glazy thickness to it. Add the broccoli florets to cook into the batch last. Once they are softened, taste for salt and pepper. Stir in a cup of milk and some shredded Vermont Cheddar for added dairy richness and tang.

snow day soup and bread

And now, for the bread part…….

bread and olive oil dip

The thing about bread is Time.

That’s all. And it’s not time where You are actually doing anything—it’s the yeast that’s doing all the work. After you mix up the dough, you just have to check in on periodically, give it a punch, knead it and leave it be. And, put it in the oven to bake.

So, I amend that—it’s really about Patience. It’s worth it. I would like to bake bread more than I do—I am not mindful enough to put it into the plan of a day. And while the recipe for this Rosemary Cracked Wheat Bread is not exceptional, I share it to encourage you.(and myself!) It’s not hard. It’s fun. And, delicious. Just simply to get in the kitchen and bake!

Serve the crusty loaf warm, with a slap of butter on it.
Or, get out your fave olive oil, dress it up with a few strips of sundried tomatoes, polka dots of balsamic….carve a little parmegiano-reggiano….

ready to bake bread

Rosemary-Cracked Wheat Bread

1 cup warm Water
1 package Active Dry Yeast
1 T. sugar
2 t. Sea Salt
2 T. Olive Oil
1 cup Cracked Wheat Flour
1 1/2 -2 cups Unbleached White Flour
2 T. chopped fresh Rosemary

Stir yeast and sugar into warm water. Yeast will begin to activate–bubble. Add salt and olive oil. Add cracked wheat flour and at least 1 cup of the unbleached white flour and make a soft dough. (add more white flour if necessary.) Knead until elastic. Form into a ball and place into a bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour. Punch down again, reform into a ball.

Score with a knife, sort of criss-cross fashion.
Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and chopped rosemary.
Let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Crust with be nicely golden and the bread will “thunk.”

baked loaf

Posted in Breads, Recipes, Soups/Stews, Vegan

16 Responses to “Snow Day Bread and Soup”
  1. ben frank from I Ate That! Says:

    Oh, man, that bread sounds amazing. and i really like the idea of this being a healthy alternative to classic broccoli cheese soup, which is one of my favourites. I love being able to just watch the snow fall and having the comfort of warm, tasty food around.

    also, it seems our culinary similarities continue…I had to work late last night so my wife made us a great pumpkin corn chowder with fresh home made beer bread.

  2. Nancy Says:

    Perfect cooking for a snowy day! The soup and rosemary bread look wonderful.

  3. Tracy (Amuse-bouche for Two) Says:

    Bread and soup on a snow day. Perfect, absolutely perfect.

  4. Teri Says:

    The bread looks fabulous. I need to do some baking too. Thanks for the nudge!

  5. Fluffy Says:

    Broccoli soup and Cracked wheat bread, mmmmmmmmmm

    Looks good to me baby

  6. Maggie Says:

    Wonderful! My two favorite things on just about any day! Way to go, Nance!!

  7. Allison Says:

    It looks wonderful Nance! I love the pic of the sliced bread, so artistic!

  8. goodfoodmatters Says:

    thanks, Allison! be sure to let me know when your blog gets up and running—-looking forward to it!

  9. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    I was sold after seeing the soup details, but then fresh homemade rosemary bread too? Wow. Perfect!

  10. claudia @ ceF Says:

    really, it just doesn’t get any better…

  11. rachel Says:

    I miss the snow, back in London they had lots but here in Rome we’ve just had cold and Rain which has been quite tedious.
    The soup looks delicious (I like milk in soup as opposed to cream) and the bread too, cracked wheat and rosemary, wonderful, I am very very fond of rosemary.
    I love the photo of the bread, oil, cheese.

  12. Leisa Hammett Says:

    Oh. My. Wish I were there at your kitchen table! This looks so luscious and LOVE how you photographed. And, once again, I’m sharing over at MomsLikeMe. This is worthy!

  13. Roger Says:

    Perfect, I plan on making the bread with the kids…..thanks Aunt Nancy!

  14. Helen Says:

    Hi I just made this soup and its not thick at all, what did I to wrong??

  15. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Helen,
    I’m not sure—the russet potatoes provide the thickening body of the soup (and this is not a super-thick soup) and the milk and cheddar do too.

    maybe you could add more potatoes, pureed to the batch.

    I hope that the soup still has good taste–it should with all these nice ingredients.

  16. Helen Says:

    Thanks I’ll try that.

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