Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Parmigiano Pumpkin Soup & Rosemary Onion Rolls with Blue Cheese Topping

Lately I've fallen in love with making yeast breads.

It all started with the craving for homemade, fresh from the oven pitas and has expanded to include pizza dough [for our weekly Sunday night pizza night], apple cider doughnuts [not technically a yeast bread, but still in the general category], and now fresh rosemary and caramelized onion rolls with a blue cheese topping.

This latest recipe I found while reading The Pioneer Woman. I just recently discovered her and oh my does her food look downright delicious. I mean, you gain 5 pounds just looking at some of her recipes! Plus, she's an incredible story teller and I love reading her story of how she and Marlboro Man fell in love. Forget Martha Stewart, I want to be Ree when I grow up!

When I found the roll recipe I knew it would go perfect with the pumpkin soup recipe I found while flipping through American Lifestyle magazine last time we were out working on the house. This magazine was sent to us courtesy of our realtor and most time I just throw it away after a quick flip through, but this time the section on crockpot recipes caught my eye. I sure am glad I stopped to look because this soup is perfect for a crisp fall evening.

In fact, both these recipes are so good that they'll result in marriage proposals. No joke. I know because it happened to me yesterday. And not from my husband. Shh! Don't tell him!

(recipe and photo courtesy of Art of the Slow Cooker via American Lifestyle magazine)

2 T olive oil (I used 1 T of butter because I was out of oil)
2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips (I used 4 strips of crumbled bacon)
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (about 28 oz.) Libby's 100% pure pumpkin
2 quarts chicken broth
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper (I used black because I was out of white)
1/2 cup cream (I used light, but a full 8 oz. to make it creamier)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I forgot to put it on, but it tasted fine without it)

1. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto, and saute until crisp and frizzled. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. If using bacon, I do mine on paper towels in the microwave. Cover with another paper towel and microwave on high approx. 1 minute per slice. Cool and crumble.

2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and saute until tender (do not brown). Add the garlic, and cook for a few seconds, until aromatic. Stir in the pumpkin, broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, cover, and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low.

3. Stir in the cream and Parmesan and heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve with crumbled bacon or prosciutto on top.


1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bread flour (I used regular because that's all I had)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (more to taste)
Freshly chopped rosemary to taste (be generous!)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Saute sliced onions and minced garlic in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Cook them until brown and caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Pour warm water into a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Add sugar and olive oil, then stir gently with a fork until combined. Set aside.

Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl. To the yeast mixture, add flour mixture, onions, and rosemary in alternating ingredients, stirring gently until dough is combined. (It’ll be sticky!)

Generously flour a flat surface. Knead dough 15 to 20 times, adding flour generously to make it easier to handle. (Keep it sticky, though!)

Drizzle olive oil in a separate bowl, then add ball of dough, turning to coat. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Divide dough into eight portions, and form a rough round from each piece. Place on a baking mat or parchment paper, then cover with a towel and allow to rise for 15 to 20 minutes.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until brown. Brush with butter halfway through baking time.To top with blue cheese, either place crumbled blue cheese on completely baked rolls and allow it to soften naturally, OR remove the rolls with five minutes baking time left, top with cheese, and return to the oven to bake/allow cheese to melt.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

To round out the soup and rolls, I added a salad with crumbled blue cheese, apple slices, craisins and walnuts. It was a delicious and light fall dinner!

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