Friday, July 2, 2010

Pizza and Soup

I used the Peasant Loaf base to make pizza. Since the dough had been in the fridge for several days, it was taking on a sourdough quality. It lent a strange flavor to the pizza, I thought. Josh liked it more than I did. It was definitely a tasty crust - really fluffy and chewy, yet light. Josh never eats his crusts from take-out pizzas but he said that this was a crust that deserved to be eaten. That's a good thing. I topped it with some mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and homemade pesto. Pesto really deteriorates after a couple of days in the fridge. And the verdure is gone in a matter of minutes. I have heard that you can blanch the basil and that keeps the green color, but I have yet to try this out. Who wants to get out a pot, wait for it to boil, uhhhhh. Too many steps.
I am loving this bread book. I am about to try a baguette! If you have ever made one the traditional way, as I have, it's tough. In fact, I didn't even finish my loaf because I messed up the first proofing step. I consider myself a baguette connoisseur. Well, that's too strong. Maybe I am a demi-connoisseur... or a pseudo-connoisseur. Anyway, I have strong opinions about my bread, and I really hope I can make this work.
This soup looks weird and sounds weirder, but is so good! You simply must make it! Chilled Watercress Soup with hard-boiled egg. No way, you're thinking. Not for me. Oh, yes it is.

Watercress Soup:
2T unsalted butter
3 medium leeks, white and light greens parts, washed and sliced
1 medium potato (Russet, or other non-waxy potato, about 8 oz.), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cups chicken broth (or more)
2 bunches watercress leaves and some stems are fine too
1 generous cup baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste
fresh lemon juice
hard-boiled eggs

Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the potato and leeks and sweat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until veggies are tender, 10-12 minutes. Add greens and stir to wilt, about 1 minute. Puree in a blender, or a food processor, or with a stick blender, or however you can. Add salt and pepper and lemon juice, to taste. We ate the soup warm with egg, but it is "supposed" to be chilled. Do as you wish, but, for goodness's sake, do!

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