Minestrone and Oatmeal Molasses Bread

 

When the sky turns steel-gray and the sun sets at 4:30pm all I want is a warm bowl of soup and a hot slice of homemade bread fresh from the oven. You can’t go wrong with soup and bread on a chilly autumn evening and one of my favorites lately is a homemade Minestrone served with homemade Oatmeal Molasses bread. Minestrone is a really versatile soup and you can play around with the veggies and beans you choose to add. And the Oatmeal Molasses bread is incredibly hearty and delicious. It’s a recipe from my mom, who used to make the bread almost weekly. It was our sandwich bread growing up and I can remember resenting it, all “the other kids” had white bread (or so I thought…I’m not really sure who I was comparing us to considering I was home schooled and “the other kids” were my siblings). I had no idea at the time how lucky I was to have freshly made homemade bread readily available.

Parmesan cheese rind is the key to a delicious Minestrone soup.

Parmesan cheese rind is the key to a delicious Minestrone soup.

Minestrone

1 lb. ground mild italian sausage

3 cloves garlic minced

2 carrots chopped

1 onion chopped

2 stalks of celery chopped

2 cups chopped kale or spinach

1 14 oz. can white beans drained

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 parmesan cheese rind

1-2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup ditalini pasta

fresh chopped basil

1. Sautee garlic, carrots, onion and celery five minutes. Add sausage and cook until browned.

2. Add tomatoes, beans, kale, chicken broth and spices bring to a boil. Add Parmesan cheese rind and reduce to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes.

3. Add pasta and simmer an additional 20 minutes.

4. Before serving add fresh basil.

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Oatmeal Molasses Bread

1 1/2c oatmeal
1 1/2 c. boiling water
3/4c molasses
3tbs oil
2tsp salt

2c. hot water
3c flour
1 package instant yeast
3 or so more cups flour

1. In a bowl combine the boiling water, oatmeal, molasses, oil and salt. Let this sit for 30 min while the oatmeal softens.

2. Add two more cups of hot water.

3. Then add 3 cups of flour, but before mixing in the flour sprinkle the yeast  over the flour and then combine the flour and yeast into the wet.

4. keep adding flour until it forms a kneadable dough that isn’t sticking to everything. Knead for five or so minutes.

5. Let rise until double in a clean bowl that has been greased with a little oil.

6. Separate into loaf pans (usually makes three loaves). And let rise again 30-40 min or so.

Place in preheated oven 400 for five min.

Then reduce to 350 for 40 min.

What are you favorite autumn recipes?

–Sarah

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