Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Broccoli Cheese Soup and Bread Bowls


Last week it turned cold in our neck of the woods and cold weather means soup for dinner. There is just nothing so good as a bowl of homemade soup on a cold, wet day. And for a special treat, I made bread bowls to serve it in. The kids thought it was awesome -- as one kid put it, "it's like playing with your food." Creating bowls with my dough was really no more difficult than forming a loaf, but so much more interesting. This soup is thick, so it doesn't soak into the bread too quickly. In fact, several of us went through a few refills before we ate the bowl. The key to getting the bread crisp on the outside is to put a pan of water in the oven beneath the rack where the bread is baking. The resulting bread has a nice crunchy exterior and a soft interior. I used vegetable broth because I made my soup on Friday, and it turned out yummy -- a little more sweet than with chicken broth. I use fresh broccoli for this, but I bet frozen would be fine. And I use milk instead of cream.

Cream of Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 cups chopped broccoli
4 cups chicken broth
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
1 - ½ cup milk or cream
1 cup shredded cheddar
freshly ground pepper
pinch cayenne pepper

Cook broccoli in chicken broth until tender.
Puree in food processor or blender.
In a large pot, melt butter.
Whisk in flour and cook 2-3 minutes.
Whisk in broccoli puree.
Cook 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.
Whisk in cream, cheese, pepper to taste, and cayenne.
Continue cooking until cheese is melted.

French Bread Bowls

1 pkg. yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 T. sugar
1 T. light olive oil
1 t. salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour

Combine water, yeast and sugar.
Let sit for 5 minutes, until foamy.
Add 2 c. flour, oil and salt, and mix with dough hook, or by hand with a spoon,
until dough forms.
Add flour, 1/4 c. at a time, kneading at low speed, or by hand,
until a smooth elastic dough forms, about 5 minutes, in mixer, about 7 minutes by hand.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once.
Cover and let rise at least one hour, until doubled.
Punch dough down divide into five pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball and place on baking sheets
greased and sprinkled with cornmeal, leaving enough room that they don't touch.

Cover with a damp towel for 30-50 minutes.
Heat the oven to 425 and place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven
at the lowest position.
Place the bread pan on the rack above the water,
and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Cool a little before cutting, then cut a circle into the bread
and pull out much of the bread,
leaving a shell around the outside.
Fill with soup and serve bread "innards" with soup.


Anne said...

I love soup!!! Almost all soups! But my husband does not. Doesn't even like them, so we don't have soup very often unfortunately. I love broccoli cheese soup especially and with a cruncy bread bowl!! You're so much more ambitious in the kitchen than me!

Maybe someday...

Deborah said...

That looks FABULOUS Barbara! I am SO making it! Maybe as soon as tomorrow! :) I know the kids would love the bread bowl concept.

Of interest was your comment on vegetable stock on Friday. I am ashamed to say that would never have even occurred to me, will have to remember that one!

Esther said...

What a coincidence! I made cream of broccoli soup last evening. I followed a recipe for broccoli cheese soup but went the healthy route instead. Thanks for sharing the bread bowl recipe.

LauraSuz said...

I made this last night (minus the bread bowls) and it was very good! I didn't have shredded chedder but I had left over worked just as good!

Thanks for sharing this recipe! It's been added to my recipe box for good.