Fresh baked bread is one of our favorite smells as a couple. It’s so comforting and inviting, and on a brisk fall day in Maine, it’s necessarily warm. We love to bake bread. We Love the work and the art involved, we also love the taste. For this recipe, we took the love of bread and the rise of soup season and combined them. Who doesn’t love a bread bowl?! So, here is a creamy roasted carrot and butternut squash soup in a rustic herb bread bowl.
For the bread:
1 ½ Tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tsp white sugar
2 Tsp salt
2 ½ cups bread flour (We prefer White Lily or King Arthur, but any will do) 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (This is one thing in your pantry worth spending the money on) 2 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
1 Tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper (If you are able, toast whole peppercorns on the stove until they pop, then grind in mortar and pestle. Otherwise, a peppermill is fine.) 1 spray bottle with water.
1) Mix yeast, salt, sugar and water.
2) Let sit for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture is foamy.
3) Mix in olive oil and flour. Knead by hand or using a stand mixer with a bread hook for 10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, put on a second setting.
4) Add in pepper, oregano and rosemary. Knead for another 5 minutes.
5) Form into a ball and place dough into a well oiled bowl, flipping around so dough is oiled. Tightly cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 to 3 hours, until doubled in size. (time depends on temperature of room, warmer is better)
6) After the dough has doubled, punch it down to release gases. Form back into a ball and place on a sheet pan or pizza stone. Cut out an “x” on top of dough with a sharp knife.
Cover with a bowl and let sit again for another 1-3 hours, until doubled in size.
7) Heat oven to 375 degrees. When dough is doubled, lightly brush with olive oil being careful not to deflate it. Sprinkle it with coarse sea salt.
8) Place in the oven for 25 minutes. After 15 minutes, spray the loaf with water inside the oven.
9) After 25 minutes, spray the loaf again and turn the oven to 425 degrees. Bake until golden brown crust is achieved.
10) Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into loaf.
For the Soup:
5 cups of large diced butternut squash (roughly a 4.5 lbs squash whole) 2 cups of peeled and sliced carrots
1 large white onion, peeled and sliced
1 head of garlic, peeled. (Hint: Crush the garlic with the palm of your hand or the butt of your knife to make it easier to peel.)
1 Tbsp of chopped rosemary
1 ½ tsp of chopped thyme
1 Tbsp of chopped sage
½ tsp of freshly grated ginger (Hint: use the edge of a spoon to peel the ginger, its the easiest way)
4 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup of butter or 8 TBS
4 cups vegetable stock
2 Tsp cayenne pepper
1) Heat oven to 400 degrees
2) In a large bowl, mix together squash, onion, carrot and garlic. Coat with olive oil and mix again.
3) Add in rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, pepper and red pepper and mix together.
4) Spread evenly across the baking sheet and place in the oven for 1 hour or until all vegetables are tender.
5) Mix in a blender or food processor in ⅓ portions. Mix with 1 cup of vegetable stock each. Puree until smooth. Add ginger to one of the batches. Add each batch to a large stock pot.
6) Add last cup of vegetable stock. Use an immersion blender if you want a smoother soup.
7) Bring complete mixture to boil on stove top and then reduce to simmer. 8) Add 2 Tsp of cayenne pepper.
9) Taste, add salt and pepper or more spice as necessary.
10) Add butter and mix. Allow soup to cook for at least 30 minutes on simmer, longer is better.
1) Cut off top of bread bowl and hollow out. Keep insides to use to dip in soup.
2) Fill bowl with soup. Top with sour cream and any left over roasted vegetables.