Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 27: White Bean & Tomato Soup with Rosemary, and Whole Wheat Bread

I have to admit the last half of this 50 day challenge does not thrill me.  I seemed to have left myself a lot of soup to make.  Now, I like soup, but we'll be averaging soup two to three times a week until the challenge is complete -- yikes!

Tonight it was White Bean & Tomato Soup with Rosemary from Healthy Cooking for Two, and wheat bread from The Greens Cook Book.  The soup, quite frankly, was a disappointment.  The recipe called for 3 cups of water, and this little voice inside my head said "No, don't use water -- the soup will taste watery!  Use vegetable stock instead!" but did I listen?  No, and the soup was watery, and bland.  Well, in my opinion anyway -- Paul and Kevin really liked the soup.  I actually ended up leaving the soup on simmer for 45 minutes.  The potatoes weren't quite done after 30.  I have another version of this soup in The Greens Cook Book that I'll be making.  It'll be interesting to see how it compares to this version.

The bread  was good.  Nice, firm bread that tasted so good dunked into the soup although I preferred the potato bread I made here.  The wheat bread is definitely more of a sandwich loaf.  It will make great sandwiches tomorrow.  I think I'll make tuna salad, hmm...

White Bean & Tomato Soup with Rosemary
Healthy Cooking for Two (or just you)
Yield:  Serves 4

2 tsp olive or canola oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, crushed
16 ounces canned tomatoes (with juice)
3 cups water
16 ounces canned Great Northern beans rinsed and drained
1 cup diced potatoes (3/4" cubes)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

     Add the oil to a heavy 3 quart saucepan and place over medium heat.  Add the onions and celery; cook for 5 minutes, or until tender but not brown. 
     Stir in the garlic and cook the mixture for 1 minutes.  Then add the tomatoes (with juice), water, beans, potatoes and rosemary.  Bring the soup to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes.  Add the salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

Whole Wheat Bread
The Greens Cook Book
Yield:  Two loaves

1 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 to 5 tsp)
3 cups warm water
2 tbsp honey
1 cup unbleached white flour
6 to 7 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp safflower oil
1 tbsp salt
1 egg plus 1 tbsp milk or water, beaten, for egg wash

     Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl; then stir in the honey, white flour, and 2 cups of the whole wheat flour.  Beat vigorously with a spoon to form a thick, smooth batter; then cover and set aside to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.
     Stir in the oil and the salt.  Then fold in about 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup at a time, turning the bowl a quarter turn between folds to approximate the action of kneading.  When the dough is too thick to add any more flour, turn it out onto a floured work surface, and knead it for 5 to 8 minutes, adding only enough flour to make a smooth, elastic dough.
     Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and turn it over so that the top is coated with oil.  Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 to 50 minutes.  Punch the dough down, and let it rise again, about 35 to 40 minutes.
     Shape the dough into two loaves and let them rise in oiled pans until they have doubled in size, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Brush the tops with the egg wash.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until nicely browned on top, sides, and bottom.  Remove the loaves from the oven and turn them out onto a rack to cool. 

1 comment:

  1. A great combo - the homemade whole wheat bread with the soup. I liked the rosemary herb taste, but I think Ann wasn't crazy about that. I still have to put in a plug for that garlic/ranch salad dressing -also goes great with the bread and the soup.