Tag Archives: Rosemary

cooking

Vegetarian Winter Soup

I’m not a vegetarian again, however I am sometimes too cheap to buy meat. This soup is lovely to make when I want cheap ingredients and a sustaining meal. Plus, it makes a large volume so I can freeze some and enjoy it throughout the winter.

So much left over when you are only cooking for one person!

I got the idea for this recipe from a book I bought when I was a vegetarian, Italian Vegetarian Cooking by Paola Gavin. In the book there is a rice and lentil soup recipe, which is the basis of this one, and I just jazzed it up a bit. I realize that if a recipe already has lentils in it then there is really no need for black beans too, but I thought it would add more texture and depth to the soup. I also happened to have a bunch of carrots lying around so I figured I might as well add those too. The original recipe calls for a can of diced tomatoes, but I only had crushed and so that’s what the recipe says. If you’d rather use diced, go right ahead. I’m sure it will still be delicious.

Since I was making this with the plan of freezing most of it, I opted to not add the rice to the entire mixture. Sometimes the rice will absorb all of the liquid and when you go to heat some up it won’t be soupy anymore. I plan on just adding some rice to it as I reheat it.

Just add a little rice when you reheat it and it will be perfect :)

An issue I had with the original recipe is that it says to simmer the lentils for an hour and a half. I guess that would depend on the kind of lentils you’re using. Since I use the Goya brand, they only really need to simmer about 20 minutes on their own. I would check what the instructions say on the packaging of whichever brand you buy before you follow this recipe.

Remember not to go crazy with salt while you’re cooking. Adding the cheese at the end will give it that extra salty and savory kick that it might seem like it’s lacking while it cooks.

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Rosemary and Sage Peasant Bread

There’s this bread that I sometimes make, it’s ridiculously easy and versatile, and very quick. None of that waiting 12 hours crap. Plus you can mess with it all you like with a good chance of it resulting in genius. I first came across it through Sarah, who found it here. You don’t need to use all the equipment in that post though, I just use a bowl and wooden spoon.

Here it is with ham and cheese! A most delicious combination

We played with it and made many different versions, besides just the rosemary one. For example, we made it with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Fantastic! And we also made it in muffin tins and used it as sandwich bread. Trust me, it was awesome.

The thing about this bread, other than the different ways in which you can play with it, is the fact that you don’t have to knead it at all. Not even a little. All you have to do is stir the dough. I hate kneading, and I try to avoid it. This recipe was a godsend. I’m not even joking, all there is to do is stir. Don’t be deceived, these are not biscuits! It does take some patience since it is a yeast dough, but when it’s done it has a much sturdier and more satisfying bite to it than most biscuits.

Another thing that scares people off the bread making train is the use of yeast. Yes, there is yeast in this one. Here’s the thing, it’s recommended that the water you use is between 100-110 degrees (it even says it on the packets or jar). One way to go about this is to do what I do and use a little thermometer. You could also just try using water that feels warm but not painfully hot to touch. Or you can cheat and use fast rise yeast. I’m pretty sure that type has you just add it straight to the flour and not worry about dissolving it. There are many things to try, but don’t be scared. Adding the sugar the way this recipe tells you to is a huge help in making the yeast dance. And you’ll know it’s working if the yeast gets kind of foamy. Just give it a few minutes and don’t freak out.

The reason I chose both rosemary and sage for this version of the bread is simply because I have come to the conclusion that these two herbs are glorious together. Also, I have an abundance of them in my garden. Adding them into this dough makes the bread savory with a flavor all on its own, but not so overpowering that you can’t eat it with other food, such as in a sandwich or with soup. Enjoy it as is, or eat it with other food. Either way I promise deliciousness.

Ham and Cheese, Eggplant, Chili

I chose to make this bread last week (I was lazy in posting this) because I was thinking of all the great herb breads I can make when I get my bread machine in a week (which I now have and have used at least 4 times and love it!), and then I remembered that I know this classic recipe that I can use to tide me over until then. And so bread was made.

This time I made it into little sandwiches, but sometimes I make this recipe into loaves. For your culinary enjoyment I made sure to include instructions for both ways.

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