"Perpetual" soup

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"Perpetual" soup

Postby Gweithgar » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:58 am

Usually a cold, snowy 3-day weekend is the sort of thing that sends my good McDougall intentions spinning out of control. This weekend I started a crock pot of soup and kept it going all weekend. Definitely a peasant-style soup. I started with some vegetable broth, water-sauteed onions and cabbage, burdock root (gobo), some dried mushrooms, and a couple cups of pre-cooked barley left over from the week. I had a couple cups of that for breakfast, and then topped the pot up with carrots and celery and some more water. I kept the pot going all weekend and replenshed it with different veggies, grains, and water. It's a great way to use up odds and ends of produce. Other things I added were: Asian sweet potato, diced homemade seitan, crushed garlic, chopped bok choy. The flavor keeps changing as the ingredients change. The broth got very rich and brown; so good that it is almost impossible to believe that there are absolutely NO bones or fats in it. I always thought that I needed bones to make a really good broth, but the barley eventually dissolves into the stock, making it thick and rich-tasting.

I also baked a batch of whole-grain sourdough bread (no added fats or sugars), so I had bread and soup available whenever I felt hungry. All weekend I felt happily nourished, and I lost about a pound into the bargain. Right now the pot is simmering away. I added more water and uncooked barley after I ladled out my breakfast and lunch. I plan on keeping the pot going for the week, to see how it develops.
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Re: "Perpetual" soup

Postby merriweather » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:00 am

Sounds great. I sort of make 'Clear the fridge' soup, but never thought of just adding, eating, adding, eating all weekend. Great idea. Thanks
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Re: "Perpetual" soup

Postby KatherineUK » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:41 am

great - the Barley Soup recipe I posted turns out like this. When you leave it it thickens up so you have to add more water - it just keeps on going ... :-)
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Re: "Perpetual" soup

Postby katie rae » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:09 am

Could you please post your recipe for the fat free whole grain sour dough bread? Thanks in advance

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Re: "Perpetual" soup: Bread Too!

Postby Gweithgar » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:13 am

I purchased starter from: http://www.sourdo.com/
I bought a set of two New Zealand starters, one for rye, one for wheat. Instructions come with the starter for feeding and storing.

For bread baking, I highly recommend the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. I've been baking for ages and don't use a recipe (sorry!), but go more by experience and feel.

Usually, I start the starter a couple of days ahead of time, feeding and stirring once or twice a day, so that I end up with about 3 pints of starter for the bread.

1) Pour the starter into your mixing bowl. If you want lots of loaves, you can add water to thin the starter.
2) Add your flour, any combination of: whole wheat flour; rye flour (don't use more than 1/3 rye flour, you need wheat for the gluten); soaked rye, barley, or oat flakes. Stir the flour in as you add it. Your goal is a really stiff, fairly dry dough (you will be adding more water later). Stir in a tablespoon of salt, more or less to taste.
3) Begin to knead the dry, stiff dough. Every few strokes, poke finger holes into the top of the dough and dribble in some warm water (half a cup or less). Continue to knead until the water is absorbed. Repeat these steps until you have a soft, bouncy, alive-feeling dough. It will be a little bit sticky, but not much. If it gets too soft and sticky you can add a bit more flour, but try not to do this as it will make the finished bread heavier.
4) When the dough is smooth and elastic, round it up into a ball and put it in the bowl to rise. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place. I use my electric oven with the oven light turned on. Don't oil the bowl and don't put any dry flour on the outside of the loaf.
5) Rising times with sourdough can vary greatly. You want the dough to double in size, so that when you poke it with your finger, the dent stays. This can take the "normal" 2 hours, but it can also take longer. Be patient. The dough needs to mature.
6) After the first rise, punch the dough down, knead it a little, and set it to rise again. Usually this will take half as long as the first rise. Again, give it the time it needs to mature.
7) After the second rise, shape the loaves. Pan loaves are easy. If you want rounded hearth-style loaves, round the dough and then keep running your hands down the sides of the round to make a good top. You want to leave a bit of a "foot" at the lower edge of the loaf.
8) Let the loaves rise while the oven heats to 425 degrees. You want the loaves to be fully risen and soft. A gentle poke with your finger should barely rise back up again, and the loaf should feel sort of like a fluffed pillow.
9) Slide the loaves into the very hot oven. Close the door gently. Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for about an hour longer. Don't open the door during baking until the loaves are nearly done.
10) Check for doneness. A finished loaf sounds sort of hollow when you thump it.
11) Cool the loaves under a light dry dish towel, and try not to slice one for at least an hour after baking. Don't put the loaves in bags until they are completely cool. I often let them cool, under the towel, overnight.
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Re: "Perpetual" soup

Postby allgooddays » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:26 am

Cool! thanks for writing that all out for us!
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