Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bread Soup

So Riana has mentioned bread soup before (although honestly whether on her blog, her food blog, or the flicker group A Slow Year I cannot tell you, maybe more than one)'s a good way to use up leftover bread. This week I looked at the hard-as-a-rock half loaf sitting on my counter that was a good 3 weeks old (I kept telling myself I would slice it up for croutons or bread crumbs) and thought to myself, "I should e-mail Riana and see if she thinks the bread is too old and ask how she makes her bread soup." Well, I was pleasantly surprised by her quick response (I am used to waiting forever for responses from people because of time differences, but thank God, she's in France, I'm in England, it's simpler).

I know this doesn't look wonderfully appetizing, but it was really good. This was the leftovers getting ready to be put in the fridge because I forgot to take a decent pic.

So I took my leftover loaf of campagne bread and soaked it in milk until it got soft. Her instructions said to add olive oil and vinegar and make a paste. I thought to myself, why would I use vinegar, and omitted it (only to add it later when I realized by looking at her pics she probably used basalmic, which is fine, I just immediately thought of the read wine vinegar I generally use for salads). While that was soaking I decided to tweak the recipe and chopped up a small onion, boiled it and some garlic in chicken broth, and then added that to the bread mixture. Riana said to add whatever herbs you have on hand, so I threw in some basil, rosemary, parsley, and a bit of thyme I think (all dried, it isn't yet warm enough in our kitchen to sustain growth). In the end you blend it all in the blender (or food processor) into a soup, and you can eat it cold or heat it up (we heated it up) and if it's too thick, add liquid (I added half and half and a smidge more chicken broth, as well as sea salt and freshly ground pepper.....a lot of pepper, because that's how we roll).

It was my attempt to not waste bread and make a simple quick meal that was warm. G and I both thought it was delicious (I think he is secretly hoping more bread goes stale) and will make it again. I think it would be wonderful with a small chicken breast on some salad as a small supper.

Best of all, it was cheap as all get out and filling. And it kind of made me reflect on how lucky we have been in our marriage. We will probably never be rich, but we have never really been poor either. We are less than 2 years into our marriage and we have started to save quite a bit each month (although that's gonna take a hit soon when we shell out for a much needed computer......I've officially put it off as long as I can). So we don't really need to use that last bit of bread loaf. We would have found many other things to eat in our home. But it was satisfying to not waste just because we could, to throw something together that I just kind of winged it.

Oh, and an update on the tea.....we are out of all tea bags, and right now I am drinking Twinings loose leaf Finest Oolong that we bought at the original flagship store in London while visitng in September. I was a little worried it wouldn't still be good (I never put it in an airtight conatiner, I just left it in it's little bag.....when I opened it months ago I cut it across the middle and in doing so had a little top to put back on. It isn't perfect but I amazed how much flavor it still has. Today I was whining and Garret offered to pick up more Earl Grey bags (because our loose leaf is mildly stale, enough you can notice) and I told him no, that I was trying to stick to my guns about this one. And while no one else may be, I am proud of myself. Before I would have just dumped the tea and bought more. It's still fine to drink, so drink it I shall.

1 comment:

  1. love your bread soup, I did it last year for the first time and is is now a staple around here!

    Re: your tea dilemna, you could also mix your loose tea with some stronger loose tea, which I could either gift to you, or you could barter for if you are doing the buy nothing year, you also could add dried orange or lemon peels and bergamot oil and make your own earl grey!

    ps your bread soup looks way better than mine!