1.21.2013

Creamy Tomato Thyme Soup & Cheddar Cheese Toast





It's about -100 degrees (that's a negative sign) in Utah right now. That's a bit of an exaggeration. It certainly feels that way. When it's that cold in Utah and there is snow on the ground we get a very gray and dismal inversion that traps the cold air in and prevents the sun from shining in a beautiful blue sky.



It's down right icky! It looks like it here to stay for at least 10 days. Ugh.



The running group decided to give ourselves a 10 degree cap. That means we don't run if it's under 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Tomorrow is going to have to be an exception, however. I will just bundle up and hope that 8 degrees feels like 10.



I just want to stay in and eat soup. I could live off of soup during the winter. I love a big pot of soup that I can eat from for a few days. I love to reheat tomato soup for lunch and eat it from a big ole mug.



This tomato soup recipe is so simple and quick to make. It's a "go to" soup when I'm in a crunch. My biggest problem is that the husband that sometimes reads this blog doesn't like tomato soup. What the? I think he must have been dropped on his head when he was a baby OR he is having flash backs from the '70's of that canned tomato soup that we all lived on. Whatever.



If you are a tomato soup fan, you will love this. It beats the canned stuff all to heck and is so simple to make. I'm making it with some of the No-Knead bread filled with cheddar cheese.



Did you ever dip your grilled cheese sandwich into tomato soup? It's like that, but better...I think.



Let's start with the bread:



Heads up you will need a cast iron pot with a lid to bake this in. It can be baked in an old dutch oven, enamel covered cast iron, a crock pot insert, a corning ware dish with a lid. Any container that can take 450 degree temperature and that has a lid.





Last night it took me a whole 5 minutes to put together the bread dough.



You will need:


3 cups all purpose unbleached flour

1/2 teaspoon instant or dry active yeast
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups cubed sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups water (cool water right from the tap)

Mix the yeast and salt with 3 cups flour.




Cut the cheese into small cubes. This will take you the longest...maybe 3 minutes.






Add the cheese to the flour, salt, and yeast. I didn't do such a great job of picturing all of the ingredients. If you want precise instructions, go to Crusty Bread. It's so quick and easy, but you need to allow an overnight rising time.




Just pour in the 1 1/2 cups water. Yes. It IS that simple. Don't ask questions and don't make it too complicated.



Just dump in the water. Trust me.








Stir the ingredients together.








Stir just until the flour is absorbed and the mixture is kind of messy and lumpy.



That's it. Trust me. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight. For about 12-18 hours. Give or take. Don't stress if it rises 19 1/2 hours. Just chill.







The next morning your dough will look all bubbly like this.



The dough is extremely sticky.






Pour out onto a well floured surface.








Sprinkle the dough with flour. I flour my hands, as well.







Shape into a rectangular loaf or a round loaf. It really doesn't matter.







Lift the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. This will make your life so much easier.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until the oven and pan are heated.







Place the pan in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 450 degrees.





When the oven has reached 450 degrees, lift the parchment paper that has the bread on it and carefully put into the HOT pot.







Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes.






After 30 minutes, remove the lid. You will have a beautiful loaf of bread. You need to bake for an additional 15 minutes with the lid off.





Just for kicks and giggles, I'm going to top the bread with MORE cheese. About 1 cup more cheddar cheese.






Return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.





The bread will have a crispy cheese topping. Remove from the oven.





Place the bread on a wire rack to cool. Personally, if I were you, I would slice a hot piece right now and eat it. I'm rather partial to the end piece.



I'm not going to lie, this is probably the ugliest loaf of bread I have EVER baked. Hahaha wouldn't you know. I'm sure your bread will be much more beautiful.



Oh well, it will taste fabulous.








When the bread is cool, slice as thin as possible.








Heat a griddle or skillet and melt 1 tablespoon of butter.








Place the sliced bread on the griddle and cook until crispy and browned.





Turn over and cook the other side. Set aside while making the soup.



You can do this while the soup is simmering as well.






For the soup you will need:


1yellow onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano Tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Note: You don't HAVE to use San Marzano. I just want you to know that they make a fabulous tomato soup. There is a difference. I only have one can so I'm using some of the Roma tomatoes that I bottled last summer. They are almost as good as the Italian San Marzano. The San Marzano can be pretty pricey. I have found the best price is Whole Foods, when they have a sale.






Chop the onion.






Peel and chop the carrots.







Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pot.







Add the onions and carrots.







Saute until the onions are tender and translucent.








Add the tomatoes.








Add 2 cups chicken stock.









Add the fresh thyme.





Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the carrots are very tender and completely cooked through.





Test the carrots. Make sure they are soft. If they are not cooked through, they will not puree well. You don't want a weird crunch in your smooth tomato soup.




I am using a hand help emulsion blender. The soup can be pureed in a blender or food processor. What ever is convenient for you. I'm lazy and don't want to wash another appliance.




Puree to your desired consistency. It's up to you. You can leave it chunky if you want. It's your soup.






Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings. I'm adding some Kosher salt.





I found some smoked sea salt at my local grocery store. I found that I love it in tomato soup. So I'm adding just a bit. If you ever see smoked sea salt, BUY IT!





Add the cream. I add just a small amount of cream, then taste. I try not to add the full amount.



I want to add the full cup, but it's heavy cream!





Stir in the cream and reheat the soup. Serve with your toasted cheddar bread.








This should keep me warm for a few days OR until I walk out side.



Isn't it a general rule that after Christmas it's summer and it has to stop snowing? I'm making that rule.



Creamy Tomato and Thyme Soup & Cheddar Cheese Toast


1 yellow onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano Tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, saute chopped onions and carrots in olive oil over medium heat. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, chicken stock and thyme. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the carrots and onions are very soft. Using a hand held blender, food processor or blender, carefully blend soup to desired consistency. Add cream to taste as well as salt and pepper. Serves 4-6





No-Knead Cheddar Bread


3 cups all purpose flour, unbleached

1/2 teaspoon instant or dry active yeast
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups water (cool tap water works well)
1 cups shredded cheddar cheese for topping

In a large mixing bowl mix flour, yeast, salt and cheese. Stir to combine. Add water all at once. Stir until most of the flour is absorbed. The dough will not be smooth and some of the flour will still be visible. DO NOT OVER MIX. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 12-18 hours or overnight.


Place the dough onto a heavily floured surface. Flour hands and top of dough. Shape into an oval or round loaf. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit while oven and pan heat.


Place a 5 quart or larger cast iron pot or enamel covered cast iron pot with a lid into a cold oven and turn oven on to 450 degrees. When the oven has heated to 450, remove lid and drop in dough that is on the parchment paper into the hot pan. Leaving the dough on the parchment paper. The paper will brown, but won't burn. Replace the lid. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid from the pan, sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes with the lid completely removed.


Lift bread out of pan using the sides of the parchment paper. Let cool on a wire cooling rack. Makes 1 loaf bread.



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20 comments:

  1. YUM, can't wait to try this :) Loving the new look as well.

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    1. I hope you do try it. Thanks for commenting.

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  2. This looks incredible. I love your blog and your beautiful pictures!

    I could not agree more with living off of soup! I just made a potato leek soup which was good, but the bacon on it was GREAT!

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    1. Oooo, Potato Leek sounds amazing. Thanks for the wonderful comment.

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  3. Love the look of the Cheddar bread, and congratulations on the new look of the site. Long time reader and this is my first comment i have tried lots of your recipes, the Carrot cake recipe is fantastic!

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    1. Thank you so much. I agree the Carrot cake is killer.

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  4. Love your new blog header. Any idea what font was used for your header?
    As always your step by step photos are wonderful. However I feel as though I need to get out and walk (I don't run) several miles after just LOOKING at the food.



    ReplyDelete
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    1. I don't know the name of the font, but I can certainly find out. Thanks for your kind comment.

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  5. I love cheese and I made this bread today. Mine is ugly as yours, but it tastes delicious, specially the molten cheese in it. I need to stop myself from eating too much. The tomato soup was also very tasteful.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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    1. Maybe it's the cheese that makes it look so ugly??? You're right, it does still taste good. Thank you so much for your comment.

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  6. Hello, I followed yesterday your crispy bread receipe and it worked just fine! Thank you for your step by step procedure, very helpful. Would you mind if I quote your method on my French-speaking blog, with reference to yours of course, with basic ingredients volumes converted in grams? Thank you!

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    1. Thank you so much for asking. Yes, you may quote my method. I would love a link to your French speaking blog.

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  7. I have made the 5 minute bucket bread for two years but have never put chunks of cheddar in it. This is definantly on my menu for the week!! Thanks for such a heartwarming meal....BTW....I did NOT like tomato soup until I was an adult and it was homemade not out of a can. Guess I had discriminaing taste even in my younger years.

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  8. I LOVE this bread. I saw it in an earlier post as just a regular white bread and gave it a try. Since then I have done part wheat flour with part white (all wheat made the bread too dense), turned it into various sweet breads with 1/2 cup sugar and dried berries and nuts. I make some version of this at least 3 times a week. Thank you so much!

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  9. Loved this! Made the soup with a Brie BLT Panini

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  10. I just wanted to say I love you're site! I have made some of your breads and I just tried this soup with a smoked gouda, mozzarella, bacon grilled cheese on homemade rosemary bread (from your recipes) to die for. Perfect for a chilly day here in Maine! Thank you so much for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Megan for your comment. I'm going to make your grilled cheese sandwich soon. It sounds amazing. I was just telling my husband today that I really wanted to go to Maine this fall. I love the coast of Maine. Then I read your comment and now I want to go even more.

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  11. I just made this cheddar bread last night and it's amazing!! I still haven't figured out a good way to store the breads, but putting them in foil seems to keep them from drying out. I'm amazed at how easy these breads are to make and can't believe it's taken me this long to stumble across this. I'll never buy regular white bread at the store again!! So far, this cheddar one is the best I've made. I used the regular white loaf to make patty melts the other night and they were to die for. Thanks for your posts and tutorials, they are so helpful!

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    1. Sometimes I just put the bread cut side down on a cutting board and cover it with a towel. It keeps well for about a day. I'm so glad you found my site.

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