To continue on the Sunday theme, I suggest that you bake a loaf of bread. On January 9th I published a recipe for “Sunday Bread”. It is a ciabatta that is very simple to make, will last you throughout the week and is perfect for little sandwiches, toast in the morning, crostini and with soup. If you stretch it to the point that it DOES go stale then you can make croutons. I know the carbohydrate scare of 2009 is still on some of your minds and others are convinced that glutton is the enemy of man. For the 99% of us who do not have CD, go ahead and enjoy this homemade bread.
Bread is an interesting subject. I wish I could make myself bake it every day, but I would probably just eat it. Too much bread will make you fat. Too much anything, by the way, will make you fat. That is what fat is: your body sees excess, says to itself: “Wait, more of that? We don’t need any more of that right now. I better save that for later.” Hence fat. The reason that bread is such an issue is that the manufacturers (notice I did not say bakers) of bread and other baked goods find the need to add preservatives and other chemicals so their product can endure the long ride from the factory (notice I didn’t say bakery) and be able to sit on the shelf long enough for you to notice it and buy it. Oddly, even bread that is baked locally tends to have some preservatives in it. I am perplexed by this. There is no need. If you are of a certain age you remember “day old bread”. Have you noticed that there generally isn’t such a thing any longer?
Soup is a perfect Sunday project. Whether you have a large family or live on your own, having leftover soup in the fridge during the week can be a lifesaver. Our 14 year old comes home from school every day famished. Both my wife and I work at home and come and go throughout the day, rarely taking the time to make a lunch that we share. A bowl of soup and a hunk of bread is easy, quick and perfect for a single lunch. You can even freeze a few single servings in a heavy duty plastic bag.
In many warmer climates such as the Balkans and India, they have a tradition of eating soup as a starter on hot days. This is a soup that it is perfect in summer. It has a sweetness that is summer like and can be served either hot or cold.
Variation: There is a fun variation that you can do with your kids. Either split or make two batches, using different colored peppers. With a little practice, you can ladle one of each in a bowl and have an artful presentation.
- 2 Yellow Peppers, cubed
- 4 Golden Potatoes, cubed
- 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
- 6 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1 Jalapeño Pepper, seeds removed, minced
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth (from yesterday) (Substitute with water if vegetarian)
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- Large Pot or Pan with Cover
- Chef’s Knife
- Heat the oil in the bottom of the large pot.
- Add onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent.
- Add garlic and briefly sauté.
- Add liquids, potatoes and salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook over high heat for about 20 minutes.
- Add thyme, pepper and a little more salt and pepper. Reduce heat.
- Cook for 15 minutes.
- Add jalapeño and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning.
- Serve with a little chopped thyme on top.