Yes, I got into the frozen dough again, what can I say?! It’s just like being a small child again, full of wonder, and creating crazy-silly sculptures with Play-Doh! WAY too much fun! 😀 The only thing missing were the Saturday morning cartoons favoriting, “The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour!” Beep, Beep! 😀
But first, I wasn’t sure what I was going to call my “soup” as it really, by definition, isn’t quite a “soup” after all. I was leaning towards chowder, but that just didn’t seem to fit quite right, either. So then my mind went to “bisque”. What exactly is “bisque” anyways?
Well, I’ll tell ya! 😉 😀 After reading several definitions it seems to me that bisque is defined as being from France for starters. It used to commonly contain mostly seafood, but thankfully it has expanded to include many things such as vegetables. It’s pureed, and cream and cognac or wines, white wine in this case, are added to finish it off.
So after reading though my scribbles, a jotted-down hot-mess on a broccoli-stained notebook page, I realized – – ooh-lah-lah! – – it truly and actually is a bisque! 😀 YAY! I was hoping it would at least loosely fit the category, as I think “bisque” sounds so much better than just plain ol’ “soup”, don’t you? Made me smile! 😀
So anyways, back to the fun part! My cute little bread bowl is wrapped with a pull-apart, or “pull-off” if you will, built-in breadstick for dunking! During the rising process, it all melds together and creates quite a fascinating presentation if I do say so myself 😉
*Note though, that the bowl is actually bigger and much deeper than it looks, as it goes all the way to the bottom and held a bowl-sized amount of bisque! You can actually pull off the outer braided “breadstick” without ruining the bread bowl and creating a hole in the boat!
This was so much fun to eat that I cannot tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed this! And I was full enough that it was the only meal for the entire day for me! I had been too busy for breakfast and had this for lunch, and it did me for the rest of the day! 😀
I’m going to be very, very bummed when this soup is gone! I make it quite hearty and leave just a bit, about a fourth, of the cooked broccoli florets un-pureed to add into the soup for extra fun.
But you can of course puree all of it for super creaminess if you’d prefer. Just always remember to puree hot liquids in the blender in small batches, because the heat will cause it to greatly expand when whirled and can burst out of the top. I always fill mine no more than halfway full, and have never had a problem.
And in this case, it only took three batches to get it done in all of about 10 minutes max. EZ PZ! 😉
So if you’re looking for a super fun way to serve an incredibly delicious bowl of soup, give this a try! You can’t mess it up and you can make them any size you’d like!
You really don’t need much with these either other than maybe some fresh vegetables cut into sticks for extra dippers or a little cut-up fresh fruit on the side. This is a very filling meal all on it’s own! And something I’d be proud to serve my best friend.
Hope you enjoy and have a fantastic spring day! 😀
BROCCOLI CHEDDAR BISQUE in PULL-APART BRAIDED BREADSTICK BOWL
2 large heads fresh broccoli, florets only, save large stems for another use
1/2 tsp. salt added to cooking water
1/2 stick butter
1 1/4 cups sweet baby carrots, small dice
1 cup celery, small dice
1 cup onion, small dice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. Herbs de Provence
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 (26 oz.) cont. chicken stock
1/3 cup flour
2 cups heavy cream
12 oz. Velveeta, diced
1 cup packed extra sharp cheddar, grated
1/2 Tbl. white wine
2 Tbl. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbl. cold water, optional for thick-style soup
1/8 tsp. more salt and pepper if desired
For Braided Breadstick Bowls:
1 (1 lb.) loaf frozen bread dough, wrapped with plastic wrap and thawed in fridge overnight (*one loaf makes about 3 bread bowls depending on size)
butter-flavored cooking spray
garlic salt, optional
poppy seeds, optional
In medium stock pot, bring a nice amount of water to a boil, add broccoli florets and salt, cover, and gently boil until very tender. (About 10 minutes.) Drain into colander, cover with a plate and just leave in sink or on drainboard.
Rinse out pot and reuse to melt butter over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper, thyme, herbs de provence, and bay leaf. Heat to simmer, reduce heat to Low, and let veggies simmer, stirring occasionally, until very, very soft. About 25 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for a few minutes longer.
Remove bay leaf, and add 1 cup of the chicken stock and the flour stirring in well, and cook over medium heat, continually stirring, for about 8 minutes. Add about another cup of stock and puree with wand emulsifier until smooth. Stir in rest of stock and about 2/3 – 3/4 of the broccoli saving the rest for last for chunky-style soup. (Add all for extra creamy.) *Chop reserved broccoli into small pieces.
Puree in blender until smooth adding in small batches no more than halfway full each time. (*I poured the mixture into a bowl from the pot, and ladled it into the blender, pureed, then poured the pureed mixture each time back into the stock pot.)
When all is blended and smooth, reheat stockpot of soup on stove over medium heat. Add reserved chopped broccoli and stir in cream, cheeses and wine. Stir until cheeses are fully melted. Stir in cornstarch slurry if a thicker-style soup is preferred, and low-simmer for 2-3 minutes longer, stirring. *Add more salt and pepper to taste if desired (and depending on saltiness of cheeses).
To make 3 bread bowls:
After dough has thawed in fridge overnight, cut loaf into 3 equal pieces. Slice off a small third from each piece. Form large pieces into balls and place onto sprayed baking sheet. Cut each small piece into thirds, roll into thin ropes, braid, and wrap around base balls on baking sheet. Spray dough well with spray, cover loosely with plastic wrap to allow rising, and let rise in oven with light on for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until doubled in bulk. Remove and preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating, spray well again and sprinkle well with garlic salt and poppy seeds if desired.
When oven is heated, bake for 22-24 minutes or until outsides are deep golden brown, hard, and bread bowls sound hollow when tapped.
Remove bread bowls to cooling rack to fully cool. When cool, slice off tops and hollow out insides. Fill with heated soup and serve. To eat, gently pull off braided bread for dunking.
*If making ahead, wrap with plastic wrap well when cooled and store at room temperature on counter until needed.
**Soup will be super thick when refrigerated. Do NOT add any liquid when reheating. Reheat on low and it will thin back out on it’s own. Never over-heat cream-style soups as they can “break”, (separate).