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Creamy Tomato Thyme Soup with Cheddar Cheese Bread

Creamy Tomato and Thyme Soup & Cheddar Cheese Toast

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 (28-ounce) cans San Marzano Tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, saute chopped onions and carrots in olive oil over medium heat.  Cook until the onions are translucent.  Add tomatoes, chicken stock and thyme.  Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the carrots and onions are very soft.  Using a hand held blender, food processor or blender, carefully blend soup to desired consistency.  Add cream to taste as well as salt and pepper.  Serves 4-6


No-Knead Cheddar Bread

3 cups all purpose flour, unbleached

1/2 teaspoon instant or dry active yeast

1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

1 1/2 cups water (cool tap water works well)

1 cups shredded cheddar cheese for topping

In a large mixing bowl mix flour, yeast, salt and cheese.  Stir to combine.  Add water all at once.  Stir until most of the flour is absorbed.  The dough will not be smooth and some of the flour will still be visible.  DO NOT OVER MIX.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 12-18 hours or overnight.

Place the dough onto a heavily floured surface.  Flour hands and top of dough.  Shape into an oval or round loaf.  Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let sit while oven and pan heat.

Place a 5 quart or larger cast iron pot or enamel covered cast iron pot with a lid into a cold oven and turn oven on to 450 degrees.  When the oven has heated to 450, remove lid and drop in dough that is on the parchment paper into the hot pan.  Leaving the dough on the parchment paper.  The paper will brown, but won't burn.  Replace the lid. Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove lid from the pan, sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes with the lid completely removed.

Lift bread out of pan using the sides of the parchment paper.  Let cool on a wire cooling rack.  Makes 1 loaf bread.

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