It’s a gorgeous day in the neighborhood… Sunshine and blue skies – and about 45°F. A perfect day to make a pot of soup and a loaf of bread.

We received our first Imperfect Foods delivery, yesterday, so a Carrot Soup was a definite. I started off with a Jacques Pépin recipe for a Cream of Carrot Soup, but ended up winging it. It’s soup. It’s pretty difficult to screw up. Immersion blender and regular blender are still with Bekins, but we brought the food processor and KitchenAid mixer with us – shipped in the trunk of the car. Every now and again there’s a streak of brilliance…

Carrot Soup

  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Potato
  • Garlic
  • Bell Pepper
  • Chicken Broth
  • Aleppo Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Roasted Carrots
  • Sour Cream

Sauté the leeks in a bit of olive oil. Add the garlic and peppers and wilt. Add the carrots and potato, and then the broth. bring to a boil and add the herbs and spices. Cover and simmer until carrots and potato are completely falling apart. Puree.

Meanwhile, roast a few carrots until desired doneness. Add to pureed soup.

Top with sour cream, if desired.

Carrot Soup

The bread recipe comes from The Great British Bake Off. Their version had a six-way braid. I did six strands but did a traditional 3-strand braid by doubling the strands. Mama didn’t raise no fool!

Their bread also called for Gruyère, but we had the other cheeses in the house so I used them. Variations on a theme…

Zupfe Loaf with Asiago, Parmesan, and Romano


  • 500ml/18fl oz whole milk
  • 1 heaped tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 50g/1¾oz butter, softened
  • 55g/2oz Asiago, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses, grated
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten


Warm 150ml/5fl oz of the milk in a small pan to blood temperature then mix in the yeast and set it aside until the mixture becomes frothy.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, the butter, cheese blend, and the remaining milk and knead the mixture for about 10 minutes, adding a little more flour if needed.

Place the dough in a large, clean bowl, cover with a dry tea towel and set aside in a warm place until it has doubled in size – about one and a half hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl, divide it into six equal portions and roll each into a long strand. Pinch the strands together at the top, plait together loosely and place on a greased baking tray.

Brush the loaf with the beaten egg and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes or until the loaf is golden-brown and the bottom sounds hollow when its tapped.


The bread is rich and a bit Challah-like – but with tons of flavor from the cheese.

We’re getting settled in, but I really miss not having my kitchen set up! I want to stop camping and get down to business!!

8 more days… and then a 3-day reprieve and the carpet is being installed.