Sunday was definitely a day of experimentation. First the soft pretzels, which turned out amazing, and then tomato soup and fresh rolls. After making the soft pretzels, my confidence was up so I decided to keep the yeast out and make fresh rolls to go with my homemade tomato soup. I have never made tomato soup or homemade bread before, but I figured, “hey I just made soft pretzels, how hard could rolls be??” Well…..harder than I anticipated….
I mixed, I kneaded, I let it rest. I then decided that instead of making plain old rolls, I would plop some dough into a large muffin pan and make muffin-shaped rolls! Fun, right? Simple, right? Well as it turns out, my bread skills need a little improving because for some reason the texture was off. They puffed up nicely and looked delicious, but for some reason they turned out with a cornbread texture and not as a soft, fluffy roll. I have no idea why this happened, but I still managed to down two of them with my bowl of creamy soup. They still tasted really good, especially slathered with some Earth Balance 😉
I decided to not use a recipe and put my creativity to use on this one. Since I had an abundance of garden veggies to use, I figured I would jazz it up and instead of plain old tomato soup, I would make creamy tomato and roasted red pepper soup!
For my first attempt at making a tomato soup, I have to say it turned out pretty darn well. However, there’s always room for improvement so next time I think I will try adding in a few more spices to give it added flavor. The texture and creaminess of the soup was incredible though and the roasted red peppers added a nice flavor. I’m glad I added them in!
Creamy Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
8 medium sized tomatoes
2 large red bell peppers
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tbsp Earth Balance
1/4 block firm tofu
2 Tbsp almond milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut tomatoes in half and red peppers in quarters. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Roast in oven for 25 minutes.
2. Melt Earth Balance in a large pot. Add the chopped carrot, celery, and 1 Tbsp minced garlic. Sauté until veggies are tender. Add tomato paste to veggies.
3. When tomatoes and peppers are done roasting, add them to a blender along with the carrot and celery mixture. Add the chopped basil and blend until smooth.
4. Return blended soup mixture to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add tofu, almond milk, nutritional yeast, 1 Tbsp minced garlic, pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper to blender and blend until smooth.
6. Add tofu mixture to soup and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste and season as necessary.
Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup very warm water
2 Tbsp Earth Balance
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp water, stir until gelatinous)
1. In a small bowl mix 2 1/4 tsp of Active Dry Yeast with 1/4 cup of very warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F). Stir and let dissolve. Now add 1 tsp of sugar and stir. Let it sit for a good 5-10 minutes. You will know the yeast is active when it is slightly foamy and smells like bread.
2. In a stand mixer or by hand, add 1 and 1/4 cup of flour, remaining sugar (1 tbsp + 2 tsp), salt, and yeast mixture. Mix briefly for 10 seconds or so. Now, add the remaining very warm water (3/4 cup), slightly melted Earth balance, and flax egg and mix until smooth. Slowly add in the rest of the flour (1 cup) and mix until smooth.
3. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. I put my bowl of dough in the oven with the light turned on (but not the oven itself!)
4. Grease a muffin pan and set aside. After 30 minutes, remove the dough from the oven and knead with hands for a few seconds. Divide the dough and form balls, placing them into the muffin pan.
5. Cover pan with towel and place back into the oven with light on for another 30 minutes. The rolls will expand during this time.
6. After 25 minutes, remove from oven and preheat the oven to 400F. After 5 more minutes, it is time to bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes until golden and fluffy. Makes 6 large muffin rolls.
This was a perfect meal for the cold, rainy day we had on Sunday and the leftovers have been great as well! First attempt at tomato soup and rolls = not bad, but I will work on perfecting it. If anyone has any suggestions as to why my rolls came out with a cornbread-like texture, please let me know. I will say one thing, my house smelled amazing with the soup and bread cooking. I might start making more breads just so my house smells delicious!