A Lot on My Plate – Paint Me a Rosemary Picture

Creamy Mushroom, White Bean & Rosemary Soup with Rosemary & Sea Salt Flatbread

Flatbread:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package (1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2-2 ¼ cups flour
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped [Shenandoah Herbs, Harrisonburg, VA]
  • Coarse sea salt, for topping (I used regular kosher salt, since I don’t mind if it isn’t that pretty)

Soup:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped [Van Dessel Farms, Accomack, VA]
  • 3-4 cups white mushrooms, sliced [Country Fresh Co-Op, Toughkenamon, PA]
  • ½ teaspoon sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 30 ounces (two 15-ounce cans) white beans
  • 5-5 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary [Shenandoah Herbs, Harrisonburg, VA]
  • Dash of allspice
  • ½ cup half and half

This one is going to be a little more complicated/energy-intensive than some of the other recipes. Get ready!

First, prepare your flatbread dough. The original recipe used pre-packaged pizza dough, but I like to be hardcore and whipped up a batch of pizza dough myself. To do that, add water, yeast, and sugar to a medium-sized bowl. Stir and then let proof for about 5 minutes. Then, add salt, honey, and about 1 ¼ cup of flour. Start mixing, and add the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time, until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands and the flour is well-incorporated into the dough (make sure you don’t have any especially wet or especially floury parts). Form into a ball and knead several times. Place the kneaded ball into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise (probably for 30 minutes or so).

While your dough is rising, start preparing your soup. In a large pot, add a few tablespoons of oil and start cooking the onions. I prefer mine a little bit caramelized, so I cooked them on a higher heat for a little longer, but feel free to adjust to however you like your onions prepared. Then, add carrots, celery, and mushrooms and season with salt, pepper, and sage. I also added about a teaspoon of Vegetable Spice (thanks Von Brake Spices/Dad!). Add a little more oil and let cook until the celery has softened (about 5 or 10 minutes). Once the veggies are cooked to your preference, add the garlic and flour. Stir to coat everything in the flour and let it cook for a few minutes.* Add the broth, beans, and rosemary (I would suggest putting the rosemary in some kind of satchet when you add it to the soup, since I ended up with lots of little rosemary needles floating around that weren’t super appetizing, but quite flavorful). Turn the heat to high, and let the soup come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add a dash or two of allspice, reduce the heat to medium-low (for a low boil) and let cook for about 10 minutes.** Once the soup has thickened, slowly stir in half and half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

* Since I didn’t prep my veggies ahead of time, I completed this step while my dough was proofing. It took about 20 or 30 minutes (though I could have let it go a touch longer). Then, while everything was cooking, I started rolling out my pizza dough. This part is reasonably subjective, but I’d say I rolled mine out to ¼-inch thick (closer to ½-inch in some places, since I’m not excellent with the rolling pin). Cut into roughly equal pieces.

** Once I had everything cut, it was time to add the broth and such to the soup, so I let everything sit for a few minutes while I did that and brought the soup to a boil before going back to the flatbread. When you’re ready, heat about a tablespoon of oil in a fairly deep saucepan or skillet over high heat. Once the oil is easy to swirl all the way around the pan, add 3-4 pieces of dough to the hot oil. Cook until the bottom is golden-brown (about a minute per side). Use a spatula to flip, and press down on the dough with the spatula to evenly brown and prevent the dough bubbling. Remove the bread immediately after each side is cooked, and sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt. (I like to pat mine lightly with a paper towel to remove any excess oil.) Serve warm alongside your soup!

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Although it seems like this recipe has a whole lot of ingredients and steps, it’s still pretty simple to make. (And completely worth it!) Rosemary has to be one of my favorite flavors, so I was really excited to see some fresh rosemary in my final produce bag of 2015. Usually I try to use herbs I grow myself (stay tuned for some pesto in the future, since my basil is getting out of control and I now have three separate pots of oregano!), but my rosemary is still too young to be used for a big recipe. But thanks to the 4P Foods newsletter and Pinterest Board, I found a few awesome recipes to use my fully-grown sprigs from Shenandoah Herbs. I also used the official last of my Van Dessel carrots! (Fortunately I’m expecting some purple carrots from Second Spring Farm in Wheatland, VA, this week, so I won’t have to go too long without any carrots in my fridge.) I was also really interested in the white mushrooms from Country Fresh Co-Op. I’m a sucker for mushrooms of all kinds, and the fresher the better! I ended up using every last one in my soup, despite the original recipe calling for only 8 ounces. But it was fully a good choice, and they made for a hearty and comforting winter soup!

The soup recipe was lightly adapted from this recipe from Amanda K. by the Bay. The flatbread was a bit of a portmanteau of this pizza dough recipe and this recipe using packaged pizza dough. I had actually used the same dough recipe the previous night for an awesome BBQ Chickpea Pizza from Yup, It’s Vegan, and decided to practice my pizza dough-ing skills with a slightly different style. The dough ended up puffing up a lot in the pan (partly because I don’t think I had proofed it enough and partly because I wasn’t paying enough attention) but made for fluffy and delicious bread. Don’t let the “made from scratch” idea fool you – making the dough was incredibly easy, cheap, and delicious! All of these recipes make much more than necessary for one person in one night, but I’ve been enjoying soup and flatbread for lunch and as a side to my subsequent dinner(s), and they both reheat very well. If you find yourself overwhelmed, you can always freeze the dough and/or soup to have later!

I can’t imagine doing that, though, because I’ll probably just make another version as soon as this one is gone. I defy you to think of something more comforting in the cold than soup and warm bread!

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