Saturday, April 9, 2011

Earthy Soups and Flat Bread


I decided to work through some of the soups from Mark Bittman's Customizable Soups list. I've done two from the Earthy section so far, and I'm kinda underwhelmed. The first one, "Bean Soup," was pretty bland. Even with the salt and pepper you're supposed to add at the end to kick it up, it's pretty plain. I'm wondering if the kind of bean I used (that not-black bean) was partly to blame. The other thing is, well, I think it's intentional. In the Earthy section, you don't sautée any of the ingredients beforehand, so you don't get the browning flavors which make things so much better. The second soup, pictured above, is "Chickpea-and-Pasta Soup." This was better, thanks in part to the addition of tomatoes to the mix, and maybe also because I doubled the tomatoes called for, added an extra carrot, and made sure to get a very big onion. I didn't compensate with more water, so there was less "soup" than may have been ideal, but the flavors were stronger. Anyway, I'm looking forward to the Hearty soups section, where you do sautée ingredients beforehand.

As for the "bread" part, I don't remember what got me looking, but I came across a simple recipe for rosemary flatbread. I have to say, since I've been working with rosemary these past several days, I've come to like the smell a lot. I mean, it was nice before, but the almost savory smell of freshly baking rosemary won me over. The flatbread was pretty simple to make, and came out nicely. However, it seems either our rosemary leaves are sized differently, or 10-inch rounds are smaller in DC than in New York City. Next time I buy flour, I'm going for whole wheat since it'll be healthier, if grainier. I'm a complete newb, though, and have been using plain all-purpose flour. What kind of flour do you like to use? Reasons why?


Before

After

Alright, so this one pictured was more like an 8- or 9-inch round. But the next two I made were at least 10-inches and as you can imagine, one or two extra-inches on the diameter at that point didn't change the visual proportions of these leaves to the size of the bread much.

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