Friday, January 8, 2010

Foodie Friday- Soup and Bread to beat the cold...

There's nothing better than a steaming bowl of soup to take the chill out of your bones, so this week I whipped up a batch of Hearty Mushroom-Barley. What can be better than this, when the thermometer is headed to the single digits???How about adding a homemade loaf of herbed french bread that's still warm from the oven? It complimented the soup perfectly!
I discovered the bread recipe in the booklet that came with the bread machine that my husband insisted I own. I loathed the dang thing until just recently, when I started using it for the initial mixing, kneading and rising. Then I shape the loaves outside of the machine, pop them into my old bread pans and set them up for the last rise the way I do for my traditional recipes.
The results are much more satisfying. The crust is now nice and crispy, and this method gives me a more aesthetically pleasing loaf without the hassle of hand kneading or constantly monitoring the temperature for a perfect rise. Now that I've achieved a certain amount of peace with the Breadman, I'll be using it more often...on my terms, of course!

You can find the recipe for the soup on The Learning Channel's website or simply click here. I did add 1/4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms that had been soaked in boiling water for about 1/2 hour. We love mushrooms, and these imparted a smoky, rich, flavor. (Don't forget to add the water in which the mushrooms were soaked. It's loaded with flavor.) I also added a small clove of minced garlic, and left out the scallions. They just didn't appeal to me!
Now for the bread...
If you have a bread machine, you can follow the instructions for your unit until the shaping stage. Then simply shape, set to rise in a greased 10"x5"bread pan until doubled, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes until done. Couldn't be any easier!

Ingredients: for a 2 LB loaf

Water 80ยบ F 1-1/2 cups
Olive Oil 1-1/2 TBL
Salt 2 tsp
Sugar 2 TBL
Dried Herbs, crushed 1 tsp
Garlic, dehydrated, 1/4 tsp
Garlic, powder 1/4 tsp
Bread Flour 4 cups
Active Dry Yeast 2-1/4 tsp
Select French Cycle
(Note: I skip the dehydrated garlic and substitute a few shakes of dehydrated onion. For the herb mix I use Italian seasoning, rosemary and parsley.)
For more recipes to take the chill out of the winter weather, please visit our Foodie Friday hostess, Michael Lee. You're sure to find a recipe that will warm up your kitchen and your soul.


  1. Your hearty soup and home made bread look delicious! Can I come over for dinner?

  2. Hi Nancy!
    I guess we are all freezing and made soup!
    Yours looks delicious, as does the bread..
    I don't have a bread machine.
    BJ's had them marked way down, a Cuisinart, but I didn't know if it had a good rating or not..
    Stay warm!

  3. Your soup looks so warm! Different dishes. I like them!

  4. Oh, this looks so warm and inviting. I love soups with barley and your bread looks devine.

    Warm Wishes!

  5. Soup, beautiful pottery, and bread. Bliss!

  6. I do not own a bread machine. Have no idea why since I seem to own most all kitchen equipment but it is probably the fact that we are always trying not to eat the carbs but sure do enough damage on my waistline eating sweets:) I love the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven and eating it warm with butter. Maybe I should ask for a bread machine for the next birthday. Now the soup looks warm and inviting. Stay warm up there in PA but honestly it is not much warmer there in the south...burr!


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