Friday, October 7, 2011

A {rainy day} Dinner

There has been so much rain this week and I am in love with fall weather.
If you are like me, then you have an abundance of food from your garden or gardens of friends that need to be used up. I had some delicious tomatoes that were starting to wrinkle and looked unappetizing. So I decided to make Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. I also made some whole wheat baguettes to go with it. Here are the recipes straight from me to you.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup-Serves 2 adults and 2 little kids :)

1 T butter
1/2 small onion chopped
1 T whole wheat flour (you can't taste it but white works too)
1/2 C-1 C fresh tomatoes cut up
1 small can tomato paste
Small bunch of fresh basil
1 C chicken stock
1/2 C-1 C whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter over med-low heat in sauce pan, add onions and most of the basil (leave 1-2 leaves for garnish). Cook 2 min. Add flour and stir constantly for 2-4 min (this creates the roux to thicken the soup) don't let it burn. Add the tomatoes and small can of tomato paste and cook for 5 min stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock slowly while stirring and add whipping cream a little at a time. Blend with a stick blender in the pan until smooth or put in a blender and then return to pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10-15 min until thickened. Add 1-2 leaved chopped for garnish. Serve immediately.

Cutting tomatoes: I choose not to peel tomatoes. I think there is a lot of flavor in the peel and I also leave the seeds in. However you can do whatever method you like. It also takes more time to peel and de-seed the tomatoes.
Whipping Cream: You can substitute whipping cream by using half and half. It won't taste as creamy but still good. If you use half and half, only use 1/2 C chicken stock.

Whole Wheat Baguettes - 2 loaves

2 C hot tap water
1 T yeast
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
3-4 C flour
1 T dough enhancer
1 T vital wheat gluten
4 C ice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
In medium bowl, whisk water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside 10 min (this is where the yeast will activate and bubble). Pour into mixer and mix in salt, gluten, and enhancer. Mix in flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides. Continue mixing or knead dough until it becomes elastic. Turn dough onto counter and cut into 4 equal pieces. Roll each section into long thin ropes. Twist together 2 ropes to make one loaf. Pinch the ends to keep in place. Place both loaves on one cookie sheet with baking mat or parchment paper and bake right away or let rise 15-30 min. When ready to bake, fill cake pan with 4 C ice and place on very bottom rack of oven. Place bread on middle rack and close over door. Do not open until 15 min has passed. Bake 15-18 min until golden brown.

Whole wheat flour: I use whole white wheat flour. It is less gritty tasting and has more protein in it than red wheat flour. You can use the same amount of white flour, just omit the gluten and dough enhancer.

Ice: The ice melts and helps to keep the bread from breaking while baking. It's helpful but not necessary.

Oven timing: Each oven is different so it may help to check on the bread at 12 min. To make sure it's not burned on top.

How did yours turn out?
Happy Fall!

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