Saturday, January 7, 2017

Comfort Food

It's been cold here lately. Not Vostok Station, Antarctica cold, but cold nonetheless. When the temperature dips below 40 degrees, I crave warm, carb-filled, comfort food. This week we made chili, Russian potato soup (so filling), and homemade tomato soup and white bread.

A few things. First, we hardly ever eat white bread. We eat plenty of challah and some seeded wheat bread, but not white. My mom is kind of a health nut--sorry mom, but it's true--so we weren't allowed white bread growing up. When I do eat it, it feels like a decadent treat.

Second, this soup tastes just like the tomato bisque at La Madeline. It is so creamy! Don't worry about the calories for this meal. We're going for comfort, not fitness.

I recommend turning the white bread into a delicious grilled cheese sandwich and then dipping said sandwich into the homemade soup. You can start making the meal in the morning and have it ready before lunch. It's so easy!

So grab a comfy sweater, curl up by the fire, and get ready for a delicious meal.

White Bread Recipe
(I can't find where this original recipe came from. If you recognize it, please let me know!)

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • Place lukewarm water in a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside for 5 minutes to proof. After yeast has fermented give a quick stir and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add remaining sugar, salt, beaten egg, and oil. Mix on low with a dough hook to incorporate.
  • Add flour one cup at a time. Mix on low until ia soft dough forms. 
  • Knead for 8 minutes.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl (or clean and grease the same bowl). Cover with a damp cloth and put in a warm place until doubled in size  (about an hour).
  • Punch dough down and form into rectangle roughly the size of your loaf pan. Roll from the short edge to form a log. Place log inside greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise until doubled (about an hour).
  • Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
Rich and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
Original recipe from here

  • 6 tomatoes (peeled*, seeded and diced)
  • 6 cups tomato juice
  • one bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Place tomatoes in juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves (I use an immersion blender).
  • Place the pot over medium heat and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until butter is melted. Do not boil.
* To easily peel the tomatoes: cut a small "x" in the bottom of each tomato. Place in boiling water for 30 seconds. Let cool and remove skin.

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