Friday, December 21, 2007

Soup and rolls to cheer us up after a few dreary days...

The weather has been weirdly foggy and dreary these past couple of days - even though it has not snowed in a few days, the trees have had this glistening white coating as the temperature has been hovering right around 32 degrees and the dampness has been freezing on them.

When it is like this outside, we end up craving something that is warm and comforting... just like that baked macaroni dish we had last night. Tonight we opted to go a different route and we made some dinner rolls and a soup!

I thought about making our favorite Roasted Garlic and Fresh Rosemary Cloverleaf Rolls, but we decided to throw together a new recipe and bake some Sage Dinner Rolls instead. The dough for the rolls was easy to work with, not too sticky and it got bonus points for including some whole wheat flour. I used instant yeast, but you can use active dry if desired - just mix the warm water, honey and yeast together and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, add this mixture, along with the oil, to the dry ingredients and proceed as directed.

For a more savory aspect, the dough is given the addition of fresh minced sage - however, I imagine rosemary would work just as well if you prefer that flavor. To give these rolls some room to grow and add some visual interest, an X is cut into them with a pair of shears (or a sharp knife!) before the second rise. The dough puffs up well when baked and you are left with a substantial, yet tender and light golden roll. The whole wheat flour didn't weigh them down at all and added just a very light nutty flavor.

The Vegetable Noodle Soup we made to have with the rolls did have few things that needed to be prepped first, but the soup didn't take too long to cook and was not lacking at all in the flavor department.

In just a couple tablespoons of oil, diced onions, celery and a few sliced carrots are cooked until they just begin to soften. Minced garlic and chopped thyme are then added and cook just until you begin to smell their fragrant aromas. Broth, a little water and a bay leaf follow and the soup simmers away until the vegetables are tender. As is, the soup is pretty light and tasty - however, the recipe throws in a couple handfuls of alphabet pasta to bulk it up and of course, add some fun to the dish (and no, I was not the one who was too busy to enjoy the soup... someone was caught up in trying to spell his name with the noodles on a spoon!). When the pasta is done, the heat is turned off and some green peas and chives are tossed in to warm up. You could toss some shredded chicken in if you feel the need to have meat, but we did find it filling enough with the pasta.


  1. Looks like the perfect thing to make this afternoon before we head off to a party that's sure to have a lot of food (at a restauranteur's just across the street--no driving). That way we won't be as tempted to over-eat some of the high calorie food that'll be there. Luckily I have some homemade chicken stock in the freezer.

  2. Paul - Homemade stock would be perfect here!