The cold rainy days of winter are here and the time for soup has come! Alanna, over at A Veggie Venture has issued the soup challenge with Soup's On! for the whole month of February.
The first soup I've made in a while turned out to be the perfect soup on a cold rainy night, when I don't feel like venturing out to do any shopping and just have to make due with what I have around the house.
Conveniently enough, I happened to have a baguette, which, when I cubed it up and opted not to remove the crusts (SS called for removing the crusts, but that just feels like such a waste of food to me!), turned out to be just about the 14 ounces of bread needed. My baguette happened to also be seeded, but I figured that would just add some flavour.
In a large soup pot, I heated four tablespoons of olive oil, added one 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes (SS called for ripe, but hey - It's winter!) and two chopped cloves of garlic, and cooked them over low heat for 10 minutes. Again, I strayed from the recipe: while SS called for only one clove of garlic, I really felt that that couldn't possibly be enough. Cold rainy nights tend to draw vampires and I had to make sure we were protected. Not to mention all the great health benefits of the little fellas. In retrospect, I feel I could have added even a bit more than I did.
After the 10 minutes of simmering, I added a cup of boiling water and the bread and mixed it well. Then I poured in 4 more cups of water and some salt. I cooked over medium heat for a few more minutes until the soup thickened then removed it from the heat and let it stand for a few minutes. I ladled it into soup bowls, drizzled with olive oil (extra virgin, this time), sprinkled it with Parmesan and black pepper and it was good to go.
The flavour of the soup, while quite simple, was very tasty and perfect for the weather. The one flaw that I found with it is that the bread got a bit of a slimy consistency, which, while it didn't bother me at all, would definitely be a deterrent to some friends of mine. On the whole though, a great quick pantry dinner on a cold night.
Tasty Factor: A- Ease of Preparation: A+ Modifications: Yes. I did not remove the crusts from the bread, and doubled the quantity of garlic. Which I'll definitely do again. Or perhaps even triple it. You can never be too careful.