Monday, February 7, 2011

French Bread & Tomato Basil Soup

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.

Tomato Basil Soup - A La Madeleine copycat recipe
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.


  1. Your bread turned out really nice. I've been wanting to make french bread for a while now and like how your recipe sounds especially since there isn't a whole lot of rising time involved. I guess now I'll have to try this bread recipe as well. Thanks for the good idea.

  2. This is a perfect meal for such a cold winter night here in Mn!

  3. This is THE perfect lunch...homemade bread & homemade tomato soup! YUMM!

  4. I'm not big on soup, but this sounds delicious! The combination of the crusty bread and spicy soup must be fabulous!

  5. Hi Haley! Great to see you on the hearth and soul hop! Thanks for linking up! Seriously, I am completely with you on the fresh baked french bread and tomato soup. Seems to be a wonderful comfort food meal and even though it SEEMS hard, is really so easy, but we will keep your secret! All the best! Alex

  6. Bread???
    I am so impressed. ~now, pass the butter
    Another Friday's Favorite for sure :-)



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