Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fresh Baked Bread & Winter Tarragon Tomato Soup

With all of the cooking, canning and baking that I do. There is one thing that I have never made.....BREAD!! It's true,  I have never ever made a loaf of bread! I have been promising "The Italian" for a couple of years now that I would start baking it. Although I really love good bread, I try not to eat a lot of it since it is one food that makes me gain weight. So, maybe psychologically I have been putting it off afraid that I would eat loaf after loaf once I mastered it or trying to do so...sounds like a good excuse to me!!  Well, Sunday after reading "Da Garden O Eatin's" post, I remembered that he had made a wonderful easy "No Knead" bread a while back and I thought that I would give it a try.

TaDa!! My first load of Bread!!

The bread was Wonderful!! We like a crusty rustic type bread and you can't make anything easier then this! It had a nice crispy crust and was not heavy. Guess what I did before I went to bed???? Yep, started another loaf. Since "The Italian" has been eating sandwiches everyday for lunch, I guess I will be making several loaves a week.

I haven't made this soup so far this winter and it seemed like the perfect combination. I found this recipe several years ago in a cook book that I purchased in the late 70's or early 80's, "The American Gable" by Ronald Johnson. It is a book containing over 400 classic American regional cooking recipes. This is the perfect easy recipe for those who preserve their harvest....two main ingredients Tomatoes & Onions!

Winter Tarragon Tomato Soup
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Quart Canned Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine or Vermouth
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar (I use less)
  • 1 tsp. Dried Tarragon
  • Salt if desired
  • Sour Cream to top
  1. In large saucepan melt butter and saute onions for about 15 minutes
  2. Add Tomatoes juice and all and mash with potato masher
  3. Add Wine, Sugar and Tarragon, turn heat down and simmer for 45 minutes
  4. Puree with immersion blender and add salt if desired
  5. Serve with a dollop of Sour Cream


  1. That bread just looks soooo yummy!
    And now I'm missing the garden worse than ever because I have NO tomatoes on hand to make that soup. What are you trying to do--push me over the edge? LOL!!!
    Will DEFINATELY be trying this soup. I will have to use STORE BOUGHT though. Sigh.

  2. Yes, bread looks great. But when I went to the link, it said you need 12 hours for the dough to raise (!). It sounds like a great bread and I love how the inside looks, I will have to give it a try.

    Fresh loaf of bread and tomato soup - a prefect combination!

  3. Sue, Just use some store bought tomatoes...the soup is absolutely heavenly!!

    ana, I followed the instructions for the bread from the following site...they had good pictures!! I used less salt though


  4. That bread looks good! I am also married to an Italian and I am always having to make the dishes just like his Grandma. Only problem is he doesnt have one of the recipes.

  5. Jane, My "Italian" makes 99.9 percent of all of the Italian dishes around here and there are a lot of them!! If I make one, he is standing over my shoulder telling me no no that's not the Italian way to make that!! So, sometimes we have German Italian dishes!!

  6. Robin, good job with the bread. I used to bake bread a couple decades ago but life, kids, bills, jobs didn't leave time to do it so it kind of slipped off the radar as something to do. I had a great recipe that left the family waiting for the loaves to come out of the oven. I had to bake five loaves at a time because two were gone right away out of the oven. Home baked bread is so much better than the store bought bread.

    Have a great day enjoying your baked bread.

  7. Thanks for the link, the pictures are great and it is easier to understand the process! I am making the dough tonight.

  8. Looks so good especially with these cold gray snowy days. I just can't get my act together to think 12 hours in advance. I'm with David, when there are no more swim lessons and activities to run my daughter around for, maybe I will think about it again.

  9. This soup recipe sounds wonderful and we will be trying it out this week. I love that it has tarragon in it as this happens to be an herb we struggle to find a good use for at times...very nice.

  10. David, Now the kids are grown...I think it's time to get baking that bread again!!

    johanna, I totally understand how hectic things are when you are raising children. It seemed that the older they got, the more running around I had to do!! It won't slow down until she starts to drive...then you will just be worried every time she leaves the house in a car!

    Mr. H., The tarragon was what caught my eye with this recipe. I never knew what to do with it! You will love this soup!! My husband doesn't add the sour cream since he doesn't like it.

  11. Once you start making your own breads you will have a hard time going back to store bought! It's so yummy!

    Good for you! And your soup looks super yummy too! Perfect with the bread!

  12. Isn't the "no knead" bread great? I found the recipe a while ago and have been making a couple of loaves every week since.

    The soup looks wonderful...thanks for sharing the recipe...I'm going to give it a try...

  13. hi! i make a bread that it is so much similar with this one, but much faster, i could say. so, i use 6 cups of flour, 3 cups of water, 4 teaspoons salt, 4 teaspoons sugar and about 30 grams of fresh east or 10 grams dry east. i add the salt in the flour and mix them together. i mix the east with sugar and 1/2 a cup of water (from the 3 cups i was talking about). i pour the east mix in the flour and i add the rest of the water too, mixing with a hand. the water has to be warm, like for any other bread you make. it is a "no knead" bread, it has the same consistency. i let it raise for about 1 1/2 hour, covered, into a warm place. i grease a tray with olive oil, i spread some cornflour in it and put the dough in the tray (you can use baking paper as well). i spring a little bit of olive oil in top of the dough, i sprinkle the bread with dry rosemary, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. sometimes, i use thyme instead of rosemary. i bake it. it is delicious!!!!


  14. i'm sorry, not tray, but baking pan (i'm not an english speaker, i never learned this language with a teacher, but with only a dictionary).


  15. APGal, Now I'm going to eat too much bread!!

    Deb, This bread is so easy to make. I made a loaf for my in-laws today. I hope that you enjoy the soup!!

    jenny, That recipe sounds very good. I think that I will try it some time this week. Thanks so much for sharing it with me.

  16. Oh yum! Both the bread and the soup look so good.

  17. Beautiful! And now I'm starving. Ha.

  18. Just had a sandwich made from fresh bread. My husband makes most of the bread we use but he does use a breadmaking so that it isn't all consuming time wise! Just pop all the ingredients in - set the timer and then leave it to it. Apparently not all bread makers produce good bread but fortunately ours does. If time isn't a problem then we will had the more traditionally made bread.

  19. looks delish! dont you LOVE that bread!

    great work!
    ps come ON spring!!! more cold on the way. boo!


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