How cold? Single digits to below 0 in many Northeast states after a weekend snow storm; this week some Southern states are covered in snow.
Perfect weather for homemade soup and fresh-baked bread. And, the easier both recipes are to prepare, the better I like them — and if you do too, then you might like this combo as much as we did.
The soup recipe was easy and started with package of Hurst's Beans 15 Bean Soup®. The package has instructions for stove top cooking, but an online search gave instructions for crock pot/slow cooker preparation.
All that's needed aside from the dried beans package is a 15 oz can of tomatoes, 1 large onion, a garlic glove, chili powder, juice of a lemon (bottled works fine). You can add chicken or ham; my choice was cut-up chunks of ham
Instead of cutting and pasting into this post, just follow this link for the crock pot instructions. FYI, the bean cooking time did take longer than listed on the website. I used the high setting for at least 2 hours. But the results were a delicious soup.
Nothing goes better with a bowl of soup than some fresh-baked bread, but as neither Grenville or I wanted to go out, I searched for an easy recipe online . . . the easier the better, and one that was also a no-knead bread meant I had struck gold!
Yes, I know the bread on the left looks so much nicer than its counterpart on the right. I did not have two 1-quart bowls, so used 1 and 1.5 quart sizes; the larger bowl had the nicer looking bread.
What makes this recipe from Alexandra's Kitchen so special is explained on the website' here's some highlights: the recipe can be started a few hours ahead of when fresh bread is needed, it bakes in buttered Pyerx® glass bowls that don't require preheating, and baking time is under 45 minutes and don't forget, it's a "no-knead" recipe (definitely a "keeper").
Here's a cut version of the smaller (less pretty) loaf.
The Alexandra's Kitchen website has all the information you need: instructions, videos, and the option to print the recipe for My Mother’s Peasant Bread: The Best Easiest Bread You Will Ever Make and you will not be disappointed. As noted in the recipe and I can verify, this is a very wet dough which was somewhat challenging to get into the bowls.
While you're on her website, check out some of the other recipes. I know that more will find their way to our dinner table.