Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they weren't fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.
“She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head, and whispered to her neighbor . . . "Winter is dead.”
~A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Bread Soup




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(My Easy Bread)

One of the consequences of there only being two of us in this house and eating most of the time is the fact that we have a difficult time using up a loaf of bread before it goes stale.   I really like good bread and a good loaf of bread can be somewhat expensive, so I don't like for any of it to go to waste.  It only makes sense to have a few things up your sleeves that you can do with it . . . like bread pudding and such.   I hate waste, don't you?

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This is a cookery book I have had for a while, by Tamasin Day-Lewis. It's a jewel.  It's filled with lots of lovely recipes for dishes that are not only economical but also delicious.  Recipes such as this Bread Soup, which she admits to originally pinching from Anna Del Conte.

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I love cooking and the beautiful chemistry that happens when you throw ingredients together.  Sometimes it is so amazing.  Who would ever think that with a few ingredients such as olive oil, stale bread, chicken stock, garlic, parsley, chilli flakes and some seasoning you could end up with a delicious soup???

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And that is exactly what this is . . . a magically delicious soup!  Made from simple ingredients, put together in a simple manner.  Of course it stands to reason that if you are only going to be using a few ingredients, you will want them to be the best you have.  Use a good sturdy loaf of bread, a crusty country loaf, several days old.

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A good chicken stock, well flavoured.  Homemade is good, but if you don't have that, a good quality store bought one works well also.

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The best extra virgin olive oil your money can buy.  It matters.

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Fresh parsley and  fresh garlic.    Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper.   A good cheese for grating.

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Something very magical happens.   Trust me on this.  It's absolutely gorgeous!  A new favourite!  Simple.  Easy.  Delicious and Quick!

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*Bread Soup*
Serves 4 
Printable Recipe

The most delicious soup from nothing but stock, bread crumbs and a bit of garlic, parsley and seasoning.  Oh, I do love recipes such as this which help to celebrate simple ingredients and methods in a most delicious way.  I believe in Italy this is called Pancotto. You will want to use a good quality rustic styled bread loaf for this, preferably a couple of days old. 

4 thick slices of stale country style bread, good quality, crusts removed
5 TBS EXTRA virgin olive oil (not the cheap every day use one)
1/2 tsp dried crushed chilies
3 dloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
a small handful of finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, about 2 TBS
1 1/2 litres of hot chicken stock (a scant 6 1/2 cups)
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 
freshly grated Pecorino cheese to serve

Crumble your bread into  bits and then blitz them in a food processor for a couple of seconds, until you get a coarse crumb.  Heat the olive oil, dried chilies, garlic and parsley in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Saute for about 30 seconds until you can smell the garlic.  Tip in the bread and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bread begins to turn golden brown.  Add the hot stock.   Cover and simmer for half an hour. 

Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as necessary.   Serve ladled out into hot soup bowls with lashings of grated Pecorino cheese on top.

9 comments:

Sue/the view from great island said...

You know I've never heard of this soup, but it sounds like a creative solution to the leftover bread problem...ours usually becomes boring croutons!

Marie said...

Oh, I do so hope that you will try it Sue!! It's really good!!

Marie said...

What a terrific idea! This is a new soup for me as well. In summer I can make Panzanella with left over bread (that's a delicious Italian bread salad) but this is perfect in the cooler months. As you say - only a few ingredients, but a beautiful combination. I so agree about quality oil in this recipe - when it is the main flavouring ingredient, you can't use anything less than the best.

This will be on next week's menu :-) Many thanks again for such creative recipes. My husband says he eats like a king.

MM said...

Yeah quality does matter, but I don't understand the recipe calling for 'extra virgin olive oil' for cooking, as it's best used in recipes where it won't be cooked, as heating it destroys it's phytonutrients, and it's delicate flavor. I think too many people don't understand what EVOO is, all the term 'extra virgin' means is that the olive oil is unprocessed. Better quality olive oil is just that, the extra virgin doesn't refer to it being better. You need to be sure the brand is reputable so that you're actually getting real olive oil, and not a fake product... cause that is happening.

Marie said...

I think you will find that the olive oil isn't being used to really fry anything in this recipe MM, but merely heating the garlic until fragrant and browning the breadcrumbs. I am no expert on these things. I have only given the recommendations along with the recipe that Tamasin Day Lewis suggested, and she said to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Don't shoot the messenger!

La Table De Nana said...

Love your bowl too:) So so cute!!

MM said...

I was referring to the cookbook author, Marie. You did state where the recipe originated. All I stated was, it was foolish for the recipe author to tell readers they 'must' use extra virgin olive oil for the recipe when it isn't a good choice for cooking with, as it's intended for use on it's own, salad dressings and other recipes that aren't going to be heated. It doesn't educate or inform people on these foods. I can't help but wonder if she really knows what she's talking about.

janice15 said...

Looks so good can you please pass over a bowl.. yummy.. with love Janice

Marie said...

Point taken MM!! Fair dues!! I do have alot of respect for Tamasin, even though the way her hair hangs down when she is cooking drives me up the wall. I keep wanting to tell her to tie it back for goodness sakes, but you bring up a good point there. I don't believe she is a trained chef,just a good food writer,and one who has been lucky enough to get cookbook deals!! Thanks for your comments! Healthy discussion is always enjoyable!

Thanks Janice! I hope you try it sometime! I think you'd like it!