There is something about a good loaf of French bread and tomato basil soup. The other night, I made a copycat recipe of La Madeleine's Tomato Basil Soup. It is so good. I typically don't really care for tomato soups. But I can drink La Madeleine's tomato basil with a straw! One of the best things about eating soup at La Madeleine is that there is all you can eat slices of bread, butter, and jams. *Thump-thump...thump-thump...thump-thump* (That was my heart) But since I wasn't eating at La Madeleine, I had to make my own bread. I chose Kara's French Bread from Creations by Kara. It is one of my favorite blogs and her recipes never disappoint me. So thanks to Kara for posting this super yummy recipe! This is a perfect meal to make on these cold days that we've been having!
French Bread - From Creations by Kara
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp SAF instant yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
6 cups flour (approximately)
In a large bowl, let water, yeast, and sugar set till bubbly. Add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour. Beat till smooth. Add remaining flour. Let dough rest for 10 minutes, then punch down or knead a couple of times. Divide dough in half. To form loaves, roll the dough into a rectangle. Then roll it up tightly lengthwise (like you would with cinnamon rolls, just without the cinnamon). Seal the edges by pinching together. Grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Place the loaves on the cookie sheet and let raise for about 30 minutes. Brush the tops with water and make diagonal slashes on top using a serrated knife. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes or till lightly browned. Brush tops with butter.
4 cups tomatoes (8 to 10), peeled, cored and chopped, or 4 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed
4 cups unsalted tomato juice
12 - 14 fresh basil leaves, plus additional for garnish, chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sweet, unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
salt to taste
Combine tomatoes and juice in saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat. Cool slightly, then place in a blender or food processor. Add basil and process to puree; this will have to be done in batches. Return mixture to saucepan. Add cream & butter. Stir over low heat until butter and cream are incorporated. Stir in salt and pepper before serving. Garnish with more fresh basil and serve. Makes 8 servings.