The view that greeted me from my patio Sunday morning was miserable. Still, it turned out to be the meteorological high point as the day progressed and the sky simply grew darker and continued to dump endless buckets of water from Tropical Storm Debby.
I only had to make a single substitution for The Kid's food allergies: plain soy milk for the full on dairy. Although the recipe called for instant yeast, I used a packet of active dry, simply because that's all I had on hand. Proofing did require a full 90 minutes instead of the 30 to 60 called for, but I was expecting a longer rise after switching up the yeast. The only other change was to give it a quick spritz with water right as I put the loaf in the oven, both to give the oven spring a little boost and to help the crust brown. (Since I can't do an egg wash, I almost always use my spray bottle on yeasted baked goods so they develop a nice golden brown color.)
This quickie bread recipe definitely gets high marks. If you try it, though, be sure to apply the cornmeal generously, since my loaf wanted to stick to the pan in a few places where it was thinner.
The bread was a perfect match for the new daiya "chedder style wedge", that I finally found at the health food store, so my son is now able to experience a grilled cheese sandwich with his tomato soup. (He hasn't been suffering, though, because he loves his grilled Sunbutter and banana sammies.) I'll admit to being a bit disappointed when I first opened the package, since the shreds had given me such high expectations. It looked like Velveeta, and not in a good way. Then I tried it. It actually tasted like cheddar, though the texture was also reminiscent of cheese product. Velveeta needs to visit daiya's test kitchen and take notes!
The verdict on the wedge? Great taste, fantastic for melting, but I wouldn't put it on a cracker.
By the way, did I mention the tomato soup?
Thick and Rich Tomato Basil Soup
(Click here for printable recipe.)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
half dozen twists fresh ground pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid
6 oz can tomato paste
4 C water
1/4 C fresh basil leaves, chopped
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, celery and seasonings. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft. Mix in garlic, then add tomatoes, paste, water and basil to the pot. Squish tomatoes against the side, stir paste until mixed with water, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove from heat. Carefully use an immersion blender to puree soup to desired smoothness. Or desired chunkiness, if you prefer. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Leftovers freeze extremely well, but may stain plastic containers.
I'm sharing my rainy day meal with: