Winter for me is about turning inward, settling down, resting and gathering. It also seems to be about comfort food.
One of my favorite comfort foods is a hearty bowl of soup with fresh bread. Recently, I had to undergo an elimination diet to see if I could isolate a food trigger causing some health problems. It is with emphatic joy that I declare gluten is NOT one of those triggers for me! If I had to give up bread permanently, it would be very hard indeed. That being said, if you are gluten intolerant, you’ll probably just want to skip this one.
Earlier in the month, I shared my two week meal plan with you. You may recall that one of the meals was a Sausage Potato Soup with homemade bread. I decided to go a little crazy and turn that into homemade bread BOWLS!
Kitchenaid French Bread from the Homemade Homestead. This recipe makes enough dough for two loaves. I split the dough in half and popped one ball in the freezer to be used later for another recipe.
With the half I kept out, I divided the dough into three portions. Two large balls and one small ball for my daughter. Feel free to adjust the size of your portions to fit your appetite (these ended up being a bit too big for me to eat).
I placed them on an oiled cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and popped them in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour. Once they have puffed up to about double the size, I brush them with an egg wash (one egg white and one tbsp cold water, beaten together) and popped them in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes. They take less time to cook than a full loaf due to the size.
Use your fingers to dig out the bread from the inside. Keep this to make homemade bread crumbs.
I’ll admit, I love bread so much that I actually kept my bread chunks that I’d excavated from my bowl and nibbled them with my soup.
If you want to keep the soup from absorbing into the bread, you can coat the inside of the bowl lightly with softened butter.
Now for the soup!
Sausage Potato Soup
1 16oz package of Kielbasa sausage, sliced into ¼ rounds
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes
1 can of Great Northern beans
4 cups of chicken stock (I used homemade, low sodium stock)
1 tsp dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup heavy cream or milk if you want a lighter soup
The sharpest white cheddar you can find, shredded for topping.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the potatoes, sausage and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes, just to get a bit of caramelization on the sausage. Add the chicken stock, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and allow it to cook for about 30-40 minutes. The potatoes will be become very soft and start to turn the soup a milky color. Add the beans in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add the cream just before serving.
Ladle the soup into the bowls and top with shredded cheddar. You can place this under a broiler to melt the cheese on top if you like. Serve immediately!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Its been one of my families favorites for many years. If you give it a try, please comment and let me know how you liked it. Sharing is caring! Cheers!
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