Fall is arriving here in the Pacific Northwest… Crisp, sunny blue skies, torrential downpours, pea soup fog, barely a cloud in the sky… Totally manic.

Planning a meal around the weather is impossible, because you don’t know minute-by-minute, what the weather will be.

Enter soup – the all-weather meal!

I made a huge batch of a basic non-recipe soup:

  • chicken thighs
  • chicken breasts
  • chicken broth
  • chicken bouillon
  • onion
  • celery
  • carrots
  • bell pepper
  • hot peppers
  • garlic
  • frozen mixed vegetables
  • butternut squash
  • barley
  • rice
  • farro
  • cannellini beans
  • aleppo pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • poultry seasoning
  • thyme
  • S&P

A basic clean out the ‘fridge and/or pantry pot. And because man does not live by soup alone… a loaf of bread.

This was a take on a James Beard recipe I’ve been making for years. I really do love James Beard and his whole approach to cooking. He was a Just Do It person long before the phrase became trademarked!

James Beard’s French-Style Bread


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 115°, approximately)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour – for this loaf I used 1 1/2 cups bread flour, 1 cup white whole wheat, 1/2 cup rye, and about another 1/3 cup water
  • 1 egg, mixed with water
  • sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal


Combine the yeast with sugar and warm water in a large bowl and allow to proof. Mix the salt with the flour and add to the yeast mixture, a cup at a time, until you have a stiff dough. Remove to a lightly floured board and knead until no longer sticky, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary. Place in a buttered bowl and turn to coat the surface with butter. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

Punch down the dough. Turn out on a floured board and shape into a long, French bread-style loaf. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with the cornmeal but not buttered. Brush loaf with egg wash and then liberally sprinkle with sesame seeds. Slash the tops of the loaf diagonally in three or four places. Place in a cold oven, set the temperature at 400° and bake 35 minutes or until well browned and hollow sounding when the top is rapped.

It really is an easy loaf to make and comes out great no matter what type of flour you use. [I’m reasonably certain the recipe was originally developed using all-purpose flour as that was what was most readily available at the time.]

Soup was good, bread was good, and we have lunch, now, for the next few days.