Harvest Tomato Soup & French Bread

As someone who loves the change of seasons, I find inspiration in the kitchen again. Each new season brings new flavors, and fall happens to be one of my favorites. It was a beautiful, hot summer, which resulted in a bumper crop of fresh, vine-ripened tomatos.  So as the weather turns cold, let’s talk about fresh bread, and beautiful creamy tomato soup. We at Marchant Carpentry want to give you a reason to use your new kitchen!


Harvest Tomato Soup:


  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)
  • 2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves, plus julienned basil leaves, for garnish
  • 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

Add the cream to the soup and process it through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that’s left. Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with julienned basil leaves and/or croutons.


Easy French Bread


  • 1/4 C warm water 105-115 degrees
  • 1 pkg dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 1/2 – 4 C all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C plus 2 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 egg white and 1 Tbsp water.


  1. Combine 1/4 C water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar into a bowl.
  2. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until yeast is bubbly.
  3. Add in 1 Tbsp sugar, salt and water.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Add flour.
  6. Mix well and knead for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth.
  7. Allow to rise until double (about 15-20 minutes)
  8. On a lightly floured surface roll out with a rolling pin. (May divide dough into two pieces for two smaller loaves if desired)
  9. Roll dough up jelly roll style and turn ends under and place seam down on a greased cookie sheet. Cut 3 diagonal slits into each loaf (only about 1/4 inch deep)
  10. Mix together egg white and 1 Tbsp water and gently brush on loaves.
  11. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  12. Boil a pan of water and then put it into a shallow dish.
  14. Place pan of water on lower rack and then bread on shelf above pan of water.
  15. Allow to rise until double (about 20 minutes)
  16. Remove pan of water
  17. Leave bread in the oven and turn oven to 425 degrees and bake bread for 10 minutes.
  18. Reduce oven to 375 and continue to bake for 6-8 minutes longer or until bread is golden brown.