Tag Archives: soup and bread

A very simple soup

The point of this soup is twofold: a warming dish for a sleety January night and to use up leftovers. So keep it simple, don’t rush out to buy extra spices, just substitute in whatever you have.

Broth can be anything. Salty water would do in a pinch. You could use veggie broth if you prefer. I’m not gonna lie, I used that “better than bullion” base.

The squash is a combination of whatever was starting to go soft in my cabinet with whatever was frozen from Thanksgiving leftovers. There’s definitely some white pumpkin in there…

My spices* are either fancy or lazy, depending on your point of view. The French four is just white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and clove. The garam masala is corriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, kalonji, caraway, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Are you detecting a theme? This squash soup is warm and savory with ginger and just hints of the sweeter spices. If you’re working from a more standard collection of spices I’d use mainly pepper and ginger, add in a decent amount of nutmeg, a good shake or three of cinnamon, and just a pinch of whatever else from that list you’ve got on hand. Oh and the garlic. Don’t forget about it.


Roasted squash (7 cups)
1 onion
Chicken broth (3 cups)
Olive oil
2 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp French four
1 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp powdered garlic
Salt & pepper to taste

Roast the squash, or use leftovers. Pour a couple of tablespoons of oil into your soup pot. Saute the onion over low heat (chop it first) until translucent and just beginning to brown at the edges.
Add the squash, broth, and spices. Simmer for awhile (30 minutes, 3 hours, whichever)
Puree. I use an immersion blender. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Serve with bread and butter, if you’re feeling classic. We made muffins, not too sweet and with no fruit, to have on the side.

This was our dinner the night before last. I’m so excited that Windsor is good enough with a spoon to enjoy pureed soups.

*All my spices come from Penzeys these days. Although we’re still refilling old containers for a couple that we have just always bought in their bulk bags. I find the quality is amazing and the prices are so much better than at the grocery store. And I have no affiliation or reason to promote them here other than how delicious they are.

Fish stew

I did that thing where I decided it was easier to create a new recipe than follow someone else’s (again). You do understand this is how I got into designing patterns as well, right?

I wanted a non-cream-based stew to use up the white fish in my freezer*. I wanted veggies and a clear broth, and fish. And I didn’t want to stop at the grocery store for clam juice or celery.

3 shallots
1 bulb of garlic (5-8 cloves depending on size)
2Tbsp olive oil
3Tbsp sherry
1 carrot
1 handful fingerling potatoes (probably 1.5 C sliced up)
1 C chicken stock
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 6.5oz can whole clams**
1 6.5oz can chopped clams**
2 fillets cheap white fish (feel free to substitute with something nicer ;-)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste

fish stew ingredients

Slice the shallots and garlic. Saute in the olive oil 2-4 minutes over medium high heat. Meanwhile grate the carrot and slice the potatoes.
Toss in the sherry. Stir. Toss in the carrots and potatoes. Add the chicken stock and enough water to cover everything. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain the cans of tomatoes and clams. Add both, plus the spices.
Nestle the fish into the soup add water if necessary to cover the fish.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes more, or until fish is done and flakes apart as the soup is stirred. Salt and pepper to taste.

fish stew

And yes, I store my leftover soups in mason jars. I’m not trying to be a hipster, they’re just the most leak-proof lunchbox container I can find.

*which, honestly, I’ve decided was cheap, doesn’t cook evenly, and not worth buying again. But I’m not gonna throw it out either.
**the clams were not cheap. We’ve been buying Bar Harbor products since they showed up in our local store and I love them. But then, I’m predispositioned to love small, local-ish, companies…

cheddar broccoli soup

With the change of seasons (astronomically anyway) I’m not going to do a soup and bread post every week. But we’re up for some record setting low temperatures today and tonight. So bring on the soup!

Cheddar broccoli is a classic. It’s also a great late-winter soup that I can make entirely with things I put up before. In fact, I use the broccoli stems from the ENORMOUS heads of broccoli my garden grows every year. They’re perfect because they don’t turn the soup quite so dark green, they’re really good for you, and using them up pleases the “waste not, want not” part of my brain.

cheddar and broccoli

I used this recipe, pretty much exactly as written. I added the broth right after the milk then the cheese afterward. But I don’t so much have a reason as I just wasn’t paying attention…

broccoli cheddar soup

I did sprinkle nutmeg on top. Nutmeg is a great complement to roux (that’s the butter/flour/milk thing) and cheese based dishes.

Potato Leek Soup

Here’s another soup I’m kinda shocked hasn’t already happened. Potato leek soup is a classic for winter right? Well it is TIME to use up the potatoes around here

potato leek soup

Last October I bought 100lbs of organic potatoes from the farm down the street. Well, it turns out if you store your potatoes at a (relatively toasty) 60F they’ll decide it’s sprouting time in March. They’re still tasty*, just a little bit wrinkly…

Combined with leeks, this is a very simple soup, but the depth of flavor would never give that away

potato leek soup prep

6 small-medium yukon gold potatoes
2 large leeks
4C chicken stock
1C milk
2T olive oil
2T butter
bay leaf, savory, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper

In your big soup pot melt the olive oil and butter together. Cut off the leek leaves, slice the root in half and then cut into slivers. Throw this in the hot fat with a dash of salt and pepper and leave over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
While the leeks are cooking peel and chop the potatoes. Throw them in with the leeks, add the chicken stock, and the herbs and spices. I think I used somewhere between 1/2tsp and 1tsp of each…
Bring the mix up to a boil, turn it down to a simmer, and leave it be until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the pot from the heat, and puree about half the mixture. I used an immersion blender here. You can use whatever you have on hand (blender, food mill, food processor, etc…) You can puree more or less, depending on how chunky you want your soup.
Put the pot back over low heat, add the milk, and adjust the spices to taste. If you pureed most of the potatoes you might need to add a little more liquid to get the right consistency.

potato leek soup time

Potato leek soup is delicious, but it’s hard to photograph… The leek greens helped the picture (I think). This is a thick soup, so we ate it with salad, instead of bread.

*years past Neil and I have had the experience of eating the last wrinkly potatoes in march, buying some nice looking organic spuds at the grocery store, and then being HUGELY disappointed that the new-looking ones were still less flavorful than the ugly ones we’d finally used up…

barley, oats, and more

Tonight’s soup and bread combo really pulled together into a delicious meal. Something about the oats in the bread and the barley in the soup complemented each other so nicely.

I made a mushroom barley soup combining both fresh portabellas and some dried mushrooms from a blend:

mushroom soup

The dried mushrooms had to be re-hydrated first. I was worried about them being mushy. But in the final soup they were more firm than the fresh mushrooms! I cooked the barley separately first so that I didn’t over-cook the mushrooms and in retrospect I think that was unnecessary… Anyway, cooked barley, sauteed mushrooms (stems first, then add the caps later), carrots, and onions went into the soup pot with beef broth and spices. Basic and tasty, just like so many other soups.

The milk & honey bread I made is so good you can be certain I’ll be doing this one again! I used my little half-loaf pan and I’m going to wish that I had more, I can tell already. I’m listing the ingredients for a regular 4×9″ pan though, so you don’t need to do any math.

1.5C flour
1C oats
2tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2C honey
1/4C sugar
1/4C veggie oil
2/3C milk

mushroom soup and bread

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease your bread loaf pan.
Whisk together the flour, oats, levening, and salt.
In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, honey, sugar, and oil.
Now fold the liquid ingredients and the milk into the flour mix just until everything is mixed.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. I baked the little loaf for 35, I don’t think you’ll need too much more time than what I’ve listed for a full sized one.

The bread darkens significantly because of the honey. The light oaty sweetness of it contrasts with the dark, rich flavor of the mushroom and barley soup just perfectly for a late winter night.

chicken noodle, again

I’ve done this once already for a soup and bread post. Honestly I’m surprised we’re only up to 2 times. Chicken noodle, or chicken and rice, are the obvious answers to leftover chicken in the fridge.

I wish soup and bread were more photogenic. Or that I had actual daylight to work with. Because this post is gonna be boring. No recipe, no good photos. I mean look!

chicken noodle soup again

I even threw a book swatch into the photo and it adds neither interest nor color. Sorry folks.

Don’t get the wrong idea. The soup itself is delicious! I used sage, tarragon, and shallots in the broth. But that doesn’t actually make it look fancy, it just tastes fancy.

But wait! Before you go, would you mind measuring the hands of the men and children in your life, and adding them to the spreadsheet? I’m trying to balance out my survey.

Sweet potato, corn, pumpkin soup

I totally stole this one from friends on twitter. It just sounds so tasty!

sweet potato corn pumpkin

I made this soup over two days and I took lousy notes, so I really have no recipe. I roasted the pumpkin (squash), sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic in olive oil on tuesday night because I knew I’d be out later than usual wednesday night. This was ideal because I could perfectly slow-roast them until 9:30. When they were done I just threw them in the fridge for later.

The spices are what I didn’t write down, and they’re the base of the stock. Garlic, sage, oregon bay seasoning, country french dressing mix, and some other things I’ve forgotten were all tossed into hot oil. On top of that there’s just water and squash in the broth, no stock of any kind. I added a big spoonful of apple chutney for depth, and because this soup can handle the gentle sweetness of the apples.

The broth is pureed. It’s thinner than a normal squash soup. I did that on purpose. I didn’t want it to be thick and creamy, I just wanted it to be the base for the sweet potatoes, corn, onions, and garlic. I tossed them in once the broth was simmering and it was ready as soon as everything was heated.

I’m surprised I didn’t think to do the prep work the night before sooner than this! The soup was done in 20 minutes flat, including the bit with the immersion blender.

sweet potato corn pumpkin soup

The bread is from a bakery, because I met up with my friend and sample knitter wednesday night for a secret book project hand off. Told you I knew I was going to be out later than usual…

Corn Chowder

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get to this soup! Back in August when I was freezing sweet corn I made several packages with the sweet corn frozen into the blanching broth specifically for use in soups and chowders! I’m excited that it is February and we’re still eating corn, broccoli, green beans, and tomato sauce I put up last summer. Along with the squashes and carrots I purchased for storage we haven’t had to buy any veggies. Occasionally we’ll buy salad mix, or something like chives if we need them for a specific recipe. But not NEEDING to buy veggies in February? I think it’s very cool.

Corn Chowder
2 pieces of bacon or a small bit of ham (better yet, the ends of the bacon or ham – they’re often cheaper and have more flavor)
1 small onion
4 yukon gold potatoes
1 small carrot
1T flour
3C corn frozen in broth (or 3C corn, and 1C water or broth)
1.5C milk, or 1C heavy cream
bay leaf, rosemary, white pepper, savory, salt, whatever spices you like.

corn chowder ingredients

Start by chopping up the meat and onion very small. Throw the meat in the bottom of the soup pot and cook on medium heat until it’s just crispy and the fat has coated the bottom of the pan. You probably want about 2T of fat total (if you’re using butter or something). Throw in the onions and the carrots next and cook until the onions are translucent. The carrots will still be pretty hard but that’s ok. Add the flour and whisk it around in the bottom so it absorbs the extra fat.
Next add the corn with the broth/water and those cubed potatoes. I added enough water here to just barely cover the potatoes. Most of it simmered away while the potatoes cooked. Throw in whatever spices you like best. I went with 1 bay leaf, 1/2T salt, and ~1/2tsp of pepper, and some green herbs (rosemary and savory are the two I remember)
Once everything has simmered for about 30 minutes add the milk. I used milk, you could use heavy cream if you prefer, I’m sure it’d be delicious but I didn’t have any on hand. Leave it on the heat until it’s hot but don’t boil it now. Adjust the seasonings until you’re happy and enjoy!

corn chowder

Today’s corn chowder wasn’t served with any bread. I’ve purchased a little half sized bread loaf pan so I can make half batches of bread. With bread and soup happening every week we frequently have leftover quick breads that start to get moldy before we can eat it all. That makes for a sad Becky, so smaller loaves seem like the best way to avoid the problem!
All that being said? Tonight we just had dessert instead.

Peasant food

Sometimes soup and bread is a pretty affair, with well lit photos and a plan.

peasant soup

And sometimes the soup is just a mix of veggies, leftover chicken, and some stock. And then the beer bread crumbles.

But soup and bread is still filling, warming, satisfying. It is satisfying. It is exactly what I need for a hearty winter meal. And apparently I’m not the only one since Sweetfern Handmade has a great little post on winter soups right now.

So go ahead, eat like a peasant. It feels sooo good.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese

This is a total cheat – but we all need an easy way out once in awhile. The tomato soup is from a can, and it’s not even home-canned.

tomato soup and grilled cheese

Grilled cheese can be thrown together while the soup heats up. The only thing we do that might be special is the slices of apple in the grilled cheese sandwich, or sometimes garlic. But it’s still soup and bread, and it’s still a tasty meal.

tomato soup and grilled cheese 2