Monday, September 10, 2012

Winter Vegetable Soup with Garlic Twist Bread

Jan here with an important announcement: 

Fall has arrived in the north…

Little Spearfish Canyon, October 2011

Okay, we’re still waiting for the fall colors, but the temperatures are plummeting, the skies are cool blue, the geese are gathering, the shadows are lengthening, football season is starting...

Fall is definitely here!
It’s time to put soup back on the menu!

This soup is one of those you can make with almost any veggie – except potatoes. If you add potatoes, then it’s potato soup, right?

Here’s the official recipe:

Winter Vegetable Soup

¼ cup butter
2 medium sized turnips, chopped
1 rutabaga, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 ½ quarts stock – chicken or vegetable
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme, or one sprig fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups kale
1 Tablespoon each, butter and olive oil

In a large soup pot (I use an 8-quart pot), melt the butter. Add your turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, carrots and onions.

Cook on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the 30 minutes, add your stock, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring it all to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes or so until the vegetables are soft.

When your veggies are nice and soft, it’s time for the blender. (If you used fresh thyme, remove the sprig now.)

If you have one of those handy immersion blenders, this is the time to put it through its paces. Just stick it in the pot and blend until the soup is smooth.

I don’t have one of those, so I put the soup – about a quart at a time – in my big blender and blend away. As each part gets done, I put the blended soup in a large bowl and do the next batch until the whole pot of soup is nice and smooth. Then I return it to the soup pot and put it back on the stove on medium heat.

While the soup is coming back up to temperature, tear the kale into 1-inch pieces. 

Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet until melted. Add the kale and stir to coat. Add salt to taste. Cook at medium heat, stirring, about 3 minutes. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and let the kale steam for about 5-7 minutes, or until soft.

While the kale is cooking, add the cream to your soup and let it heat slowly. You don’t want to heat it too quickly or let the soup boil or the cream will break.

Serve the soup in bowls with a nice dollop of kale for a garnish.

Now, soup for dinner begs to have bread on the side, and the fresher the better.

For this yummy Garlic Twist Bread you need:

one loaf of bread dough
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried Basil

Since I make my bread six loaves at a time, it’s easy to use one lump of dough for this recipe…

OR, you can buy a loaf of frozen bread dough from the grocery store…

The main thing is to have bread dough ready to go.

On a baking pan (greased or lined with baking parchment), spread your dough out into a rectangle, about 9 inches by 12 inches.

On this rectangle, spread 2 Tablespoons softened butter. 

In a bowl, mix together 2 teaspoons minced garlic, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon dried basil.

Spread this mixture evenly over your dough.

Now, roll up your rectangle from the side, jelly-roll style.

Next, cut the roll up the middle.

If you don’t have a pair of kitchen shears, buy one. They’re way too handy not to own a pair.
Oh! When you’re cutting, stop just before you get to the end!

Now, carefully twist the two halves of the roll around each other. This isn’t as easy as it looks, but it works.

Warning: you’re going to make a mess. Just put any spilled filling back on top of your bread.
Brush the top of the loaf with an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. (This step isn’t crucial to the recipe, but it sure makes the loaf look professional!)
Let it rise for about 20-30 minutes, and then bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.

Mine got a little browner than I wanted – my oven doesn’t keep an even temperature, but I’m shopping for a new one. My dear husband insists we make the purchase before the Christmas baking season...

Now, doesn’t that look like a great cold-weather meal?


  1. Oh, WOWIEEEEEE!!!!!

    This is my kind of meal! And I love that bread twist. That is too cool. I've tried to make twists and they're... not as pretty.

    There was also a moment there I thought you had a picture of my naked stomach... but it was just the risen dough overflowing a bowl. *whew* Scary what you can find about yourself on the internet.
    Anyway, have to make this!!

    1. That risen bread dough is a bit of a monster, isn't it? It's really just a big baby. All it needs is a little gentle coaxing to shrink it down to a manageable size.

      Now if our stomachs would just be so cooperative...

    2. OMGosh!! Virginia, you made me howl out loud laughing with your stomach comment!!!! LOLOL!!

    3. I howl out loud every time I see it, too. :P

  2. I love cream soups, Drex! Just love 'em. Of course, I'm usually making them from a Bear Creek mix (blame Teeeeena) but that's okay, they're delicious and easy. Still, this recipe intrigues me enough to try it because I love root veggies.

    Hey, the oven thing. Mine's doing the same thing. SO ANNOYING. And it's a convection oven so I won't be shopping to replace it right now, but probably paying Mr. Fix It to come around.


    It burnt a peach pie... OY!!! and then when I did candy-bar cookies this weekend, they got CRISP... They were not supposed to be anywhere near crisp and that's when I realized it wasn't my classic forgetfulness... it was the oven temp.

    So yes, we need to fix these before holiday baking. Oh my stars, the reality of what prairie women went through with wood stove cooking went through my mind. In this one case, I love my push-button technology! ;)

    1. I think those prairie women were magicians. Think of cooking over an open fire? No oven at all? And still feeding their hungry families and all the farm hands!

      Of course, they didn't have the Food Network to live up to :)

    2. Ruthy, I can't wait for you to show us the photo of the burnt pie when you post the peach pie recipe. I can make fun of you like you made fun of me for posting a burnt photo!!


    3. Oh, dagnabbit, I didn't take a burnt pie pic. I made it and it turned out right like three weeks ago... Wait, there's still a piece... I'll take a pic of the piece. And it still tasted good, even though it got dark. Yummy pie.

  3. Oh Jan -- I'm drooling! I LOVE you! I am soooooo making this soup on the weekend! It's been lovely and cool and fallish here too. Hoping that trend stays. I don't have a blender though, but I'm thinking I could mash the dickens out of those veggies, don't you think?

    And I made your apple pudding and LOVED it! So good warm with a bit of half and half cream, but I packed it cold for lunch and it was delish on its own too. In fact, wouldn't that make a nifty dessert to go with this winter soup? Hmmm...I might just have to invite a few friends over for some down home veggie cooking this weekend.

    1. I thought of you with this recipe, Kav. Even though I used homemade turkey stock for it, vegetable stock would work just as well.

      I hope it stays cool enough for this menu in your part of the world. We had nice, cool weather last week, but today we're expecting 95 degrees again. We're supposed to cool down tomorrow, though. That's one thing about living on the prairie, the temps swing back and forth.

  4. LOL, Jan! We were down to 60 this morning here in Texas and that put me in the mood for a cold-weather meal. Nevermind the fact that's we're heading to the low 90's. I guess it's all in the perspective.

    This looks wonderful. I haven't had rutabaga since I was a kid. I rememeber it being hard to cut. But I love parsnips, kale, butter, and cream :-) Of course, I could make a meal on just your bread.

    1. You can put whatever veggies you want in this soup - I was so happy to find rutabaga in the store last week! It's rare around here.

      And the bread? I had a piece for lunch :) Not the Garlic Twist kind, though. That disappeared before the soup did...

  5. Oh, YUM!! I saw two key words that got my attention:


    Garlic Bread

    Oh, wait, and a third:


    LOL! I love it! Will definitely make the bread. And most likely the soup as well, although I'll have to disguise the fact it has vegetables in it for my kids. :) I'll just have to blend well and keep my mouth shut. I can call it cream soup, can't I?


    1. Yes, definitely use that blender! My onion hating boys had no idea what they were eating...

  6. It sounds wonderful except for the turnips. I just can't stand those, no matter how hard I try.

    Just reading the recipes y'all post makes me tired. I think I'd like to be a good cook, but I just haven't decided to try it. Or I'm just lazy. I won't probe that question too deeply, if you don't mind.

    1. Andrea, cooking it tough when you have small kids! Mine are in high school now, and I still use a lot of convenience foods! I'm lucky to cook a decent meal once or twice a week. Then we eat leftovers. Oh, and I snap photos like crazy so I'll have something to post about. LOL

      Frozen pizza, jarred spaghetti sauce and Stouffer's lasagna are my good friends. :)

    2. Andrea, Missy's right. Cooking with small children around is a once-in-awhile thing. My youngest is a college freshman now.

      Of course, you can always enlist their help...but when my children were small, I'd let them watch a favorite TV show. It's amazing what I could get done with 30 minutes alone in the kitchen :)

      And by all means, leave the turnips out of the soup! Just put in the veggies you like. What good is soup for dinner if you can't switch around the ingredients?

    3. Missy, that made me laugh! I just started taking pictures, but I wish I ahd ESP so I could know whether it would turn out. Sometimes I start taking pics and then burn it and there's nothing to post, hahaha!