Monday, October 11, 2010

Fire, Bread and Soup

"Hello Fall?"
"This is October 11th calling. We're wondering when you're thinking of showing up"

It's weird, having 75 and 80 degree, windows-and-doors-wide-open weather this time of year. Not that I'm sad about it. But still. Weird. And it's lulling me into believing I've got PLENTY of time to clean up the garden beds and do all those other last-minute outdoor chores which really means I'll probably get screwed and end up doing it in a snowstorm because I've procrastinated for so long. But I've still got peppers and tomatoes and squash growing out there so I'm disinclined to go ripping everything out until it's dead, you know? And did I tell you we're building a shed...? Plenty of time and nice weather left for that, too, right?

So even though it's like 78 today I'm getting my soup on anyway, because it's October and there is only so much soup weather in a year, and because I DO love me some soup.

As I was prepping and tending a couple of batches of bread for a wood-fired oven bake I figured I may as well get a move on getting dinner together while I babysat dough.
Pulled from my fridge and freezer were: butternut squash puree leftover from my squash gnocchi with sage brown butter project from last week, assorted WFO roasted root veg from last weekends' firing, a gallon or so of homemade chicken stock, some mirepoix veg from our CSA share, fresh ginger, and a too-mushy-to-eat-fresh big Zestar! apple.
All this stuff simmered together for a few hours and hit with the immersion blender= deliciousness in the making.

In the mean time, bread was proofed, the WFO was fired, and baking commenced. I've been into the new book "Tartine Bread" the last week or so, and today (and part of yesterday to start the dough) I did a batch of baguette and a batch of the sourdough country boule.
boule and baguette from the WFO, 10-11-10
The boule I haven't tried yet. The baguette is sort of eh. The recipe says to portion the dough into two or three pieces, and I did three which turns out to be WAY too big to be anything even close to a baguette unless you're making them like five feet long--which I was not. And the flavor, eh. I'm hoping they'll improve with a little rest time.
The boules are my second go around with this recipe, and if they're anything like the first batch, they'll be fantastic.
I'm still not quite there with the look on either style of loaf, but the practice is delicious :)

So the breads came out and in went a diced up random assortment of stale crusts and ends I had stashed in my freezer tossed with some olive oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper to make croutons for the soup.
After that, a skillet full of pecans for the arugula and sage pesto I was dreaming up as another garnish to brighten everything up.
And voila! Dinner:
root veg soup with arugula pesto and crouton
Considering it was all mostly an afterthought based on leftovers just thrown together, amazingly good.

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