Today is an ugly day…it’s dreary, windy, and it varies between a steady rain and an absolute downpour. In other words, it’s the perfect day for soup and homemade bread. Now that we’re back into the academic year I’m falling back in love with my slow cooker. There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day to a hot meal that requires almost no work! Tonight was one of our favorites: stuffed pepper soup! It’s easy to put together and freezes beautifully!
Stuffed Pepper Soup
1 lb 90% lean ground beef (or turkey)
4 green peppers
1 cup long grain rice (not instant)
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
7 cups of beef broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook ground beef in a pan until browned. Drain of fat and add to slow cooker.
Roughly chop green pepper and onion and add to slow cooker.
Add rest of ingredients to slow cooker and stir well to combine. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Before serving, stir well.
And you can’t have soup without fresh bread! I found a recipe for English Muffin Toasting Bread on Pinterest last year and it’s such an easy but incredibly tasty recipe. Just like an actual english muffin, it’s fantastic toasted with a little butter and for a real treat, toast and spread with nutella!
English Muffin Toasting Bread
-adapted from King Arthur’s Flour
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbs instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tbs olive oil
cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan (or instant polenta if you’re out of cornmeal!)
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl (or mix in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment).
Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. I heat in 4 increments of 30 seconds on high, stirring between each one. Stir the liquid well before measuring its temperature so you get the most accurate reading. If you don’t have a thermometer, the liquid will feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water. If it feels a little warm just let it sit on the counter for a few minutes and then proceed.
Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
Mix by hand until dry ingredients are well incorporated and dough is sticky. If using a stand mixer beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
Cover the pan, and let the dough rise until it’s just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn’t be more than, say, 1/4″ over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn’t very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, until it’s golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F. It almost always takes me just 22 minutes and I think it’d be easy for this bread to overcook so start checking at 22 minutes!
Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.