26 Sep 2013

Rustic and Robust Vegetable Soup with Beans and Potatoes along with Homemade Bread

Autumn is upon us, once again and it's time to fire up the wood burner and light candles in the evenings. And the lowering temperatures and metamorphosis of color simply invites a gastronomic homage, in the form of a robust and colorful soup - served alongside a crunchy loaf of homemade bread! Just to make sure that the transition from summer to winter will be a comfortable one.

Rustic and Robust Vegetable Soup with Beans and Potatoes along with Homemade Bread

The recipe for the bread was simple. First, awaken the yeast in lukewarm water. We poured 25 gr of dry yeast into half a liter of lukewarm water along with a tablespoon of organic honey. Allow to sit for around 10-15 minutes, or until a frothy film has emerged on the surface of the water. The next step is to mix together 400 gr of spelt flour, 200 gr of rye flour, 100 gr of wheat bran, heaped teaspoon of salt and 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then stir yeast into the dry ingredients and knead together by hand or in a mixer. Sometimes, more liquid has to be added if the dough is too dry, or conversely, more flour, if it is too wet! Following this you cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rest for 1-2 hours. The dough should double in size. When it is ready, the dough was split into two halves and the breads are formed. One loaf was kept plain, while the other was richly decorated with seeds. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mintues at 180 degrees Celsius. 



As with the bread, the soup was very easy to make. I chopped 4-5 large potatoes, 3 large carrots, a few stalks of celery, 1 white onion, half a zucchini, and a few cloves of garlic. I fried the vegetables in olive oil, in a large pot until the they began to soften and shimmer. At which I poured about two liters of chicken broth over the vegetables (the chicken broth I had made some time before and stored in the freezer). Vigorously season!



I opened a can of large white beans and another can of canneloni beans. I rinsed the lot in cold water before adding them to the soup. Finally, I added a handful of finely chopped parsley. Then the soup was allowed to slowly simmer for about an hour (or, if you are in a hurry, 30 mins in a pressure cooker).



The bread was served with butter and brie. Terrific!

Bon appetit!

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