I’ve been shirking my dinner duties, I know. Sorry. Today I made baked bread soup. Mostly because it sounded so intriguing – don’t you think? You cook down a ton of veg – the usual onion-carrot-celery trio, plus garlic, thin-skinned potatoes, kale, savoy cabbage, tomatoes and smooth white kidney beans – it really is pure virtue in a pot, this. Then you tear up almost half a loaf of crusty bread and poke the pieces in, and refrigerate the lot overnight. I did the whole thing in an enamel-covered cast iron pot – it went from stovetop to fridge, then into the oven the next day. On day 1 it doesn’t seem like all that much, but overnight it morphs into something much better, and then when you bake it uncovered rather than reheat it on the stovetop, it gets all crusty around the edges, almost like a casserole. I thought it needed some freshly grated Parmesan on top – don’t you agree?
The original called for 1 lb of dried white kidney beans, which are soaked, simmered, and then partly pureed. You could do this, of course. But I don’t want to turn you off at the prospect of having to soak and cook your beans before even starting on your “soup”, which then must sit in wait for a night before you can bake it. You could of course start with dried beans if you like.
It’s like a big ol’ salad, condensed and warmed up for winter. If you’re the type to crumble crackers into your soup and won’t be too upset at not being able to actually slurp it, you’ll love it.
In other news, this site has expanded a little. Dinner with Julie is now a citizen of the Republic of Facebook. All the cool kids were doing it, and I succumbed to peer pressure. That’s right, I have another page to update. It will be like Dinner with Julie Lite®. I do like the idea of posting little snippets and links and photos here and there in between the bigger posts, which I’m hoping will go back to being more dinner-oriented. I have some ideas. Stay tuned.