Saturday, November 03, 2007

Feed me soup and bread

What I need these days is a hearty meal: something that can be put together easily and that satisfies my need for a full tummy (and all those extra calories for nursing). I found the beginnings of my answer in a fantastic quick bread recipe from my favorite cookbook, How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It tastes quite a bit like the Russian Black Bread that my mom made semi-regularly when I was a kid [served with borscht]. It is rich and moist and goes splendidly with a thick chicken soup, one that I modified from the same source.

Both recipes included in this post contain things I make and/or regularly have on hand, which makes me want to pat myself on the back. It also makes meal prep a breeze. I don't really have to plan much, except to thaw the chicken stock beforehand.
  • Yogurt
  • Chicken stock - Made regularly and frozen in quart canning jars for future use.
  • Cooked chicken - I usually make stock with a whole chicken, then used the meat from it for soups and sandwiches for the rest of the week and/or freeze it for future use.
  • Turnip greens - from the turnips we planted this summer for our first venture into root cellaring. They look great; we're going to have turnips all winter long. It has been very fun to be able to use the greens along the way as well: first for salads; then as the greens got older & tougher, in cooking.
  • Blackstrap molasses - I never used to have this around, but I recently added it to my repertoire and my goodness, have I used it!
The bread tastes the best while it is still warm and fresh, so I've been using a smaller loaf pan and keeping half of the batter in the refrigerator. That way, we get two different meals with warm bread on the side and the otherwise giant loaf doesn't go to waste. It is still good a couple days afterward, but it isn't quite at its prime anymore. Like I said, fresh out of the oven is best (slathered with butter). Oh my, it is delish.

Quick Whole Wheat and Molasses Bread

1 2/3 cups plain yogurt
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup molasses

Mix dry ingredients
Mix wet ingredients
Mix wet & dry together

In a 9 X 5 inch pan, bake @ 325 until a toothpick stuck into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about an hour. [30-40 minutes if setting aside half the batter and using a smaller loaf pan.] Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve.

Chicken Soup with Rice

8 cups chicken stock
1 cup brown rice
3-4 carrots, chopped
2-3 celery, chopped
Eyeball a good amount of cooked chicken
Handful of cooking greens
Salt & pepper to taste

Bring the stock to an almost boil: add the rice and vegetables, cover, and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 20 minutes, then add the chicken, salt & pepper, and the cooking greens. It will be ready to eat within minutes. Serve.


C. Shirk said...

I was just looking for some inspiration for my grocery list. I'm adding all these ingredients to my list and making the bread and soup this week. Sounds tasty!

ms said...

yum! thanks for the recipes and hint to start making a list of what i want around after the baby comes!!