Entertaining

A Different Kind of Trick or Treat: Bloody Tomato Soup and Focaccia Fingers for Halloween

Post written exclusively for Inside & Out by Alison Strickland of Two of a Kind using our Periodic Table Cocktail Plates, Beaker Recycled Glass Tumblers, and Mr. Bones Cocktail Napkin Set.  

Take a break from Halloween sweets and dig into a bowl of “bloody”tomato soup with a side of cheesy focaccia “fingers,”(a fun alternative to your classic grilled cheese). Dunking is a must! And did I mention there’s bacon in the soup?

Creamy Tomato Soup and Cheesy Focaccia

Bloody Tomato Soup and Cheesy Focaccia Fingers

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS
Cheesy focaccia:
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh (or 2 teaspoons dried) oregano, divided
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

Tomato soup:
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into lardons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh (or 1/4 teaspoon dried) thyme
1 bay leaf
1 15 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
1/4 cup heavy cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cheesy Focaccia_slab

INSTRUCTIONS:
Make the focaccia:

  1. In a large bowl, combine water and yeast, stirring until yeast dissolves. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and a generous pinch of black pepper.
  2. Add 3 cups flour and stir everything until it comes together to form a shaggy ball. Then knead the dough by hand on a well-floured work surface for about 5 minutes. Flatten dough slightly, sprinkle on 1/2 cup cheese and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed, about 5 more minutes. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. While dough is rising, combine remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) oregano in a small bowl.
  4. Oil a rimmed baking sheet. After dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to the prepared baking sheet; let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Using your fingers, stretch the dough so it evenly covers the bottom of the baking sheet. Cover the dough loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  7. With your fingertips, poke dimples at 2-inch intervals over the entire surface of the dough. Brush olive oil/oregano mixture on surface of the dough and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until golden brown, 18-20 minutes.
  8. Once focaccia cools, cut into 1-inch-wide “fingers”Cheesy Focaccia_cut

Make the soup:

  1. In a large pot, cook bacon on medium heat until fat renders and bacon crisps, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add butter, garlic, onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste begins to darken, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  5. Add chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove soup from heat and purée. Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Hi Marilyn… I’m so glad you enjoyed the focciaca! I’m assuming that by “thicker,” you mean a bread that is taller than 3/4″? Traditionally, focciaca is a flatbread and as such is meant to be “thin.” But, if you wanted to make it thicker, you could use a pan smaller than 9×9. By default, the dough/batter would be deeper, resulting in a thicker bread.On the other hand, if by “thicker” you mean the consistency of the dough, then you could increase the flour slightly (though this would affect the balance of other dry ingredients, such as xanthan gum.Cheers, Pete

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