Yet again I find myself spending hours and hours going through cookbooks, websites and articles online while I have a huge to-do list waiting for me. I shouldn’t spend all these hours looking up hundreds of things without actually finding what I’m looking for, but I can’t help myself. Passion and obsession are so close to each other it’s kind of scary.
I’ve been into this baking sourdough bread for a while now, and I care about it a lot, maybe even too much. I’m pursuing the romantic image I have in my head – to some day have my own little sourdough bakery & cafe where the magic of amazing good bread goes together with everything fresh and seasonal straight from the land and the sea. Fresh, good, seasonal, mind blowing.
I find myself wide awake at 3am in the morning, scrolling through article after article because I can’t sleep and all I think of are the 4 loaves rising in my fridge. I truly want to understand every little bit of it, know what is happening, understand that art of baking sourdough bread. It feels like I’m obsessively putting a lot of time and energy in every little step, and yet it does not fully pay off – the perfectionistic me speaking. The loaves are good – the flavour is amazing, the crust is great, the colour is beautiful, the scoring gets prettier every time, and the crumb is actually fine, but I want those bubbles to be bigger. I want more air, more pockets, more shininess. And I’m so determined to get there.
Although it is quite frustrating, I love it at the same. I’m bringing loaves everywhere I go, asking feedback from everyone who bites into a slice. The feedback is amazing, everyone is so positive, so kind, and it gives me so much energy and warm feelings to see how I can share my love for bread like this with the people around me. That’s exactly what everything is about, and these moments put me back on my feet again. I realise it’s good already, that I do cherish the whole process, and that it is great to take people with me in my development. And, everything will only get even better. Babysteps, Renée.
Now those fresh, good(-for-you), straight from the land things. It’s the combination of pure flavours, from good ingredients. Simplicity and nutrition. Getting the best from everything: bone broth, which is super good for you, combined with fresh farm vegetables. Cosiness in a bowl never tasted so good. Especially not with a big slice of sourdough bread to dip with.
Roasted Bone Broth Tomato & Bean Soup with Sourdough Bread
For the Roasted Bone Broth
1 kilo/2 pounds beef marrow bones/soup bones
4 celery stalks
2 yellow onions
1 whole smoked garlic head
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon pink peppercorns
For the Soup
1 red onion
2 cloves smoked garlic
2 celery stalks
100 ml red wine
500 gr organic canned tomatoes
50 gr soaked & cooked butter beans
50 gr soaked & cooked chickpeas
50 gr soaked & cooked red kidney beans
50 gr soaked & cooked cannellini beans
bunch fresh basil
bunch fresh parsley
fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
For the Roasted Bone Broth
Preheat oven to 200C. Roast marrow bones, turning occasionally, until browned, about 20-30 minutes. Cut carrots, leek and celery into 10 cm pieces. Cut onions an garlic head in half. Add all to baking pan with marrow bones and roast, turning occasionally, until vegetables are brown, about 30-40 minutes.
Transfer everything to a large pot, add cold water to cover. Pour off fat from pan, add again water to cover, the parsley, bay leaves and pink peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 8-15 hours, occasionally skimming foam and fat from the surface and adding water as needed.
Strain, keep the vegetables for the soup, the marrow bones for another recipe.
Cool, cover and chill if necessary.
For the soup
Heat a big pan, add some olive oil. Finely chop onion, and fry until soft and translucent. Finely chop garlic, celery and carrot and add to pan. Fry until golden brown and soft.
Add the red wine and stil.
Add the tomatoes, vegetables from making the bone broth, and beans.
Add bone broth to cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Add half of the basil and parsley and gently stir.
Divide soup and garnish with cherry tomatoes, grated parmesan cheese and the rest of the basil and parsley.
Serve with sourdough bread.