Cooking with Wine: Homemade Bread and Squash Soup

Cooking with Wine: Homemade Bread and Squash Soup

In the year of COVID, many of us have relieved our stress and explored creativity in the kitchen. One major trend this year? Homemade bread. It’s a fun adventure for the rookie cook or the home chef. Food Blogger and Wine Guide Melissa Summar falls into the latter category, and still gets a lot of joy out of baking bread at home for her family. This time of year, she adds a special artistic twist that we can’t wait to share. Plus, she offers up her recipe for Roasted Squash Soup to serve with your homemade bread—and don’t forget the wine!

Raise your hand if you have ever had homemade bread fresh out of the oven! There really isn’t anything else like it. There are many reasons to make homemade bread, too. For one thing, there is a satisfaction that comes along with making bread at home. You feel a great sense of accomplishment. Another great part of baking your own bread is that you can control the flavors and what you are putting into it. I like to sauté onions and add that to bread with some herbs, like dill. It really brings your bread to a whole new level of deliciousness. Finally, I love making homemade bread because I don’t have to worry about all the extra additives and preservatives in store bought bread, and you can taste the difference! Here’s a bread recipe I love this time of year, perfect for hearty soups and stews: bread bowls!

Get Cozy with Bread and Soup

Some might have a misconception that bread is hard to make, but it’s really quite simple. With a little love and patience, you can make delicious bread at home. The more you make bread, the more familiar you will become with the dough—and the better your bread will be. It’s always worth it to pair homemade soup with freshly baked bread, so I’m also going to share my favorite fall soup recipe, Roasted Squash Soup.

Bread Bowl Recipe

  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk or whole milk, heated and slightly cooled
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 cups of flour (approximately)
homemade bread bowls and squash soup
Pumpkin-shaped bread bowls are the star of the show! Pair with Chardonnay for a complete taste experience.

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, egg, milk, salt, butter, and half of the flour. Mix well. Add enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle. Knead for 10 minutes (or, if using a stand mixer, add only enough flour to clean the sides of the mixing bowl; mix on high six minutes). When the dough is smooth and elastic (not sticky), it is ready for its first rise.

Less is more when it comes to adding flour to your dough. The more flour you add the stiffer and more dry your bread will be. If you’re short on time and want to speed up the bread dough, just add a little more yeast. I used three teaspoons when making this recipe and it rose quickly.

Let the dough rise until it doubles in size. Punch down at center, and then divide the dough into eight or 10 equal pieces, and shape into baseball-size balls. Form each into a perfectly round shape, and set onto a parchment-lined baking sheet that has been sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. I like to turn my bread bowls into pumpkin-shaped bowls for the season! To do this, just grab your kitchen shears and clip about 1/2-inch deep cuts all the way around the dough ball, like spokes on bicycle wheel. Allow to rise until double in size. Carefully brush the bread with an egg wash.

Bake the bread bowls for 25 minutes at 425 degrees. When cool, slice off the top of the bowl and hollow out. Leave about 1/2-inch border all around bowl for stability. Finally, fill these delicious bowls with your favorite thick soup, stew, or chili! Save the pieces of bread from the inside to serve with your soup or stew.

roasted squash, onion and carrot for soup
Roasted acorn squash, butternut squash, carrot, and onion are at the heart of this creamy squash soup recipe.

Roasted Squash Soup Recipe

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed or cut in half (seeds removed)
  • 1 acorn squash, peeled and cubed or cut in half (seeds removed)
  • 3 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 apples, cored and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, chopped (I had shredded in my fridge so I used those)
  • 3 to 5 cloves of garlic still in skin
  • 1 tablespoons of fresh thyme or sage, plus more for garnish
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place all vegetables and apples on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and add vegetables to a large pot. The garlic will be able to be squeezed out of the skin right into the soup pot. Season with the thyme or sage and salt and pepper to taste. Cover with chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Simmer about 10 to 15 minutes. Then, using an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy. (Alternately, carefully transfer batches of the hot soup to a blender.) Add back to soup pot, and stir in heavy cream. Heat until warmed. Serve in bread bowls with a dollop of sour cream.

Suggested Wine Pairing

There are so many wine pairing options for this delicious soup and bread. If you’re a white wine lover, try our new 2018 Polpo Blu Pecorino from Italy, which is my new favorite wine! Our 2019 Lancre Rosé, would pair beautifully with the soup as well. One of my go-to favorites for this meal is 2018 Steeple Street Chardonnay, with is bright and creamy feel that pairs perfectly with creamy soups. The soup really brings out that creaminess in the wine, which is just so delicious and comforting. Enjoy this meal while squash is in season to stay cozy and comfy on these cooler nights!

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