Saturday, February 23, 2013

on the table

I have been practicing baking a new bread every week. I loved the homemade breads my grandmother made when I was a child and I wanted to do the same for my beans. I also want healthier options for my family.  Our son has a peanut and tree nut allergy, so our bread options from the bakeries and stores are limited.  My thoughts on food allergies another day.  For now. I'm focused on cutting as many highly processed foods from our diets as possible.  This includes trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup as well.

Here's what's on the table...Minestrone Soup and No Knead Bread

In my Pop's old neighborhood, they called it the poor man's soup.  If they were short on food for the week, they would take whatever they had in the fridge and make a pot of minestrone.



2 zucchini cubed
2 summer squash cubed
2 cups of small pasta
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
Olive oil
salt and pepper
2 carrots-don't worry about peeling
1 onion
3 stalks of celery with leaves
2 cans of beans (garbanzo, cannellini, or red kidney beans)
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
8 cups of organic chicken broth

(I have made this recipe with whatever veggies I have had on can't go wrong!)

Minestrone Soup
{adapted from The Pioneer Woman}
  1. In a large stock pot drizzle some olive oil.  Cut up one onion, a couple of carrots (I have even used baby carrots cut up), and a couple pieces of celery. Cook them until they are lightly browned.
  2. Next add 8 cups of organic chicken broth to the pot.  Bring all the ingredients to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
  3. Next grab 1 or 2 cans of beans and drain them in a strainer. Red kidney beans, garbonzo beans, and cannelini have all worked
  4. Throw those into the pot and let the soup cook for another 10 minutes
  5. While this is cooking cut up your zucchini, squash, and mushrooms. (broccoli works great too) Spread them out on a baking dish.  Drizzle olive oil over the veggies, stir, and add some salt and pepper.  Cook them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 500 degrees.  They will be added to the soup at the end.
  6. After the beans have gone in choose any type of small pasta to throw in.  Let the pasta cook in the pot for about 10 minutes.
  7. Check those veggies in the oven!
  8. Now throw in a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and the juice.  I cook it for another 10 minutes at this point. This is when I add salt to taste.  You may need several pinches of salt to give it a kick!
  9. Make sure the pasta is done and then add your cooked veggies from the oven and mix it up!
  10. Now it's time to dig in!  Don't forget to sprinkle on some parmesan cheese.  
No Knead Bread

I first saw this recipe at Elaina's blog A little bit country-a great blog if you haven't visited yet!
The original recipe is from Tania's blog  Ivy Nest another inspiring place to visit!

Tania lays it out fantastically, so i will let you pop over there to check it out!!  Here are the ingredients you will need..


3  cups water, lukewarm
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sea salt
6 1/2 cups plain white flour (or 5 cups white and 1 1/2 cups wholemeal)

And like the Italians say...bada boom bada bing...your done!


  1. Baking bread really is a joy. Though, my spouse in the primary bread-maker in my hut, since he's the main bread-eater.

    And there's nothing like a good pot of homemade minestrone … especially with some nice homemade bread!

  2. Looks Delish! Have a great weekend!

  3. Looks yummy! I need to try that sometime!

  4. Minestrone is hands down my favorite soup. Ever.
    Every time I see yeast in a recipe, I run. So I'm super impressed anytime I see a fresh loaf from someone's oven.
    Your dinner looks deeeeelish.

  5. LOVE minestrone...and a family recipe, at that! Thanks, Nicole - Happy Sunday - you ROCK!

  6. I absolutely love minestrone - I use a Margaret Fulton recipe :-)
    The only bread we eat is home made - I love making it and shop bread just doesn't taste that good.
    A great book to read for no-knead bread is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. It's chockas with really great recipes!

    Happy Sunday!
    Sarah xx

    PS I love how your refer to your little ones as your "beans" - so cute! <3

    1. Thanks for the suggestion lady! I will check it out!

  7. I've been working on cutting out processed foods from our family as well- no easy task. And why is corn syrup in EVERYTHING?? Oh my...
    I have some wonderful memories of my mother baking bread in the afternoons when I was young, and coming in to such a delicious smelling house. mmmmm.

    1. It is in everything! That is why it is so scary! I figure if I can give them a really healthy 18 years...they will be off to a good start!

  8. I have several cookbooks devoted to baking bread but I never bake it. I need to try out a few of my favorite recipes again.

    Your recipes look yummy! Do you ever add herbs to your soup?

  9. Mmmm looks yummy Nicole! Thanks for the recipes!

  10. I make a very similar no knead sourdough. So easy isn't it! It means I bake bread much more regularly...

    rachel xo

  11. Glad you like the No Knead bread, such an easy recipe. I love it toasted in the weekends with our cooked breakfasts. I tried another bread recipe today. Soda Bread. Delicious! Going to try your soup recipe soon too. I love making soups in winter and serving with homemade bread. xo

  12. Looks great!! I always LOVE a new bread recipe! Thanks for sharing, can't wait to try :) ~Bre

  13. Fresh baked bread is wonderful. Judy and my oldest son are both pretty good bread bakers. Your minestrone looks great, we'll give it a try.

  14. That bread looks so easy that maybe I could do it. :)

  15. Oh the soup looks fantastic! And I also love to bake...anything really, but homemade bread...yum. I hate kneading so this is perfect! Will have to try it. ;) Thanks for sharing!!

  16. I love minestrone and could eat bread until my butts as big as a bakery truck. We eat a lot of soup. There are no food allergies in my house but nitrates/nitrites trigger my daughters migraines so we buy organic meat straight from the farm. I've become the food police to help her avoid headaches. Very limited processed food for us, too.

  17. Bada The soup looks and sounds delicious and, as for fresh baked bread (right out of the oven with a little butter) - there is nothing that tastes better. I bet your home must smell incredible when all of this is happening. As for the food allergies - meh. On the bright side they force us to eat healthier which is a good thing.

  18. Mmmm! This sounds so super tasty and seems like a great sort of comfort food! Thanks for sharing :)


  19. Your soup looks yummy. I will have to try this recipe. Always on the lookout for healthy meals. We too have been trying to eat healthier. My daughter is not eating anything processed, but I can't afford to buy everything organic.

  20. I've noticed a very definite decline in any bread in the house now that my daughter is away at university (we even put the toaster away since no one has been using it). But there's nothing like homemade bread. My mom made all of our bread, she never bought it. There was nothing like getting off the school bus at the end of our laneway on bread baking day and smelling that wonderful aroma wafting in the air ... it made us run the rest of the way home in order to have a fresh slice before it went in the freezer for the week. Wendy

  21. Yum! I've been getting into bread baking recently, too. I always thought it looked too hard but there seem to be heaps of easier recipes out there. As for "poor man's food", it's often the tastiest, isn't it?

  22. Your food looks so delicious Nicole!
    I really admire you for choosing to provide and cook healthy natural foods for your family.
    There are so many bad additives in processed food we need to avoid it if possible!
    Thank you for the lovely recipes!
    Shane ♥

  23. That is the most beautiful Minestrone soup I've ever seen! So colorful! I like the bread recipe, too. There is nothing like having home-made bread with soup. Warms the soul. Thanks for the great recipe's. xx

  24. I love that you've making a new bread every week, Both the bread and soup look delicious!

  25. Yum!! This looks so delicious! Thanks!!

  26. That look yummy ... & healthy. Thanks for the recipe.
    Melissah from country Style chic

  27. You make your own bread? I am so impressed. I have never made homemade bread, but I love the good quality bread. Here in Toronto we are lucky to have Ace Bakery and they makes the best homemade style bread. A little butter and the tiniest bit of honey and you are in bread heaven. I copied out the soup recipe. Thanks Nicole!

  28. Oh Yum!! I am going to make this sunday!! I failed at bread making, even when I had a bread machine!! I am too pathetic..but you give me hope, I will try making this bread to go with my soup!


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