Thursday, 1 September 2016

Mustardy, Cheesy, Broccoli Soup with Homemade Bread Bowls

This recipe is proof that I'll do anything to save on washing up.

Mustardy, Cheesy, Broccoli Soup with Homemade Bread Bowls
Serves 4

For the Soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 cups whole milk
3 cups chicken stock
Zest of a lemon
3 sprigs oregano
1/4 cup cornflour mixed with 1/4 cup water to make a slurry
3 cups broccoli florets
200g grated cheddar cheese (I used Red Leicester)
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Bread Bowls:
150ml lukewarm water (about 40C)
7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
2 teaspoons caster sugar
250ml lukewarm whole milk (about 40C)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
600g baker's flour, plus extra if needed for the dough and for dusting
Sea salt flakes

Make the Soup:
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan (I use a Dutch oven).  Add the onion and cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.  You want it to softened, but not brown the onion.  Add the mustard powder and fennel and cook for about 1 minute.  Add the mustard, milk and stock, whisking so that the mixture stays smooth.  Bring to a boil and add the lemon and oregano.  Gradually add the cornflour slurry to the soup, whisking continuously.  Bring to a boil and once the mixture has thickened, add the broccoli.  Reduce to simmer and cook until the broccoli is tender.  I like to fish out a few florets and set them a side while I puree the rest of the soup with a stick blender until smooth. Put the soup back on a low heat, add the cheese and stir until melted.  Check seasoning and adjust to taste.

Make the Bread Bowls:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, pour the water, yeast and sugar and stir to combine.  Set aside for 5 minutes, until the mixture it foamy.

Add the milk, oil, salt and flour and mix on low for 5 minutes.  The dough should be soft. smooth and pull away from the sides of the bowl.  If it's still a bit stick, sprinkle in some extra flour and mix until it leave the sides of the bowl.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot for 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 4 even portions, about 160g each.  Roll each portion into a tight ball, and place on the prepared tray with enough space between them to spread during baking.  Dust the tops with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 250C.

Score the tops and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.  Use a spray bottle to spritz them with water.

Leave to rise for a further 15 minutes.

Bake for 2 minutes.  Open the oven and spray them again with water and reduce the oven temperature to 200C.  Bake for a further 18 minutes, or until golden and baked through.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

To Serve:
Cut the bread bowl using a small serrated knife, cutting a circle directly downwards, then pull it out. Pull lumps of dough out of the centre, leaving a sturdy shell.

Spoon the hot soup into the bread bowl and add the reserved broccoli florets.  Serve the bread tops and innards along side for dipping.


  1. I've really wanted to try home made bread bowls for soup - am I right in guessing that you spritz water on the dough to crisp it up and make the bowls sturdier for the soup?

    1. Yes Johanna. Misting the oven with water creates steam, which gives you a firmer crust.

  2. I did something like that a couple years ago and I loovveedd it. When we'll be in autumn and it'll be cold outside, I'm going to try your recipe for sure :)

    1. It's the perfect thing for those cooler days and nights.