Yum Peaceful Cooking: February 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Boulder Organic Soup and Crusty Italian Bread

Boulder Organic Soup and Crusty Italian Bread

I love soup.

Not the typical canned soups with bland broth and high sodium. I rarely purchase processed soup. I rarely even go down the soup isle at the grocery store. Good soup is quick and easy to make and very versatile. It's the perfect answer when needing to clear out the veggies from your fridge.

However, there are times, when you need something on the go, you're rushed, or you just don't feel like cooking (or don't enjoy cooking, although if you're reading a food blog, I doubt that's the case). If you find yourself in any of these predicaments, don't grab the can. Go into the deli section and find yourself some real soup. Find yourself a container Boulder Organic Soup!

I had the pleasure of trying a few of these delicious, organic, gluten free soups. Talk about YUM factor! Each container is about 3 servings, and paired with some good bread, makes for the perfect meal when time is against you! Or take it to work and you have yourself 3 lunches for the price of one!

Boulder Organic uses locally grown produce as much as possible, is always gluten free, non gmo and of course organic. Not only are they doing good by preparing a very healthy product for the consumer, but they also donate to the local Community Food Share and other non-profits in their area.

I had the pleasure of doing an informal email interview with the Kate Brown, the Founder of President of Boulder Organic Foods. Please see read the interview at the bottom of this post for more insight to this wonderful company!

Although I tried a few flavors, Roasted Tomato Basil (pictured above), and Potato Leek, the Golden Quinoa and Kale was my favorite!

So very good! Nice chunks of tomato, carrots and kale....with oh so healthy quinoa all over the place. Perfect for those cold winter days/nights (although with the heat wave we're experiencing here, forcing us to wear our summer clothes, it's a bit challenging to go into more detail about how satisfying it is to eat hot soup in the winter0.

There are so many other flavors that I still need to try. Of course you can go on their website to find where you can purchase Boulder Organic Soup near you and see for yourself how many delicious soups there are to choose from.

In the meantime, let's talk about the bread you can make and serve with the soup (because I can't post anything without a recipe).

I found a wonderful Crusty Italian Bread recipe in the King Arthur's Flour Baker's Companion Cookbook, The biga (starter) is what makes this bread stand out from others. It gives it a depth of flavor that you can't get with other doughs (unless you're making sourdough). So plan ahead by a day....it'll be worth it! You'll love the soft, tender crumb as you bit through the firm crust.

Crusty Italian Bread

1 cup cool water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1/2 cup cool water
2 - 2.1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 egg white, lightly beaten mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Sesame seeds

To make the biga, combine all of the ingredients, mixing until well combined and a sticky dough forms. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 12 - 16 hours. During that time the dough will become softer and filled with bubbles.

Now for the dough: Add the water to your bubbly biga and mix until smooth. Add the flour, yeast and salt and knead until smooth. Allow to rest in a lightly greased bowl, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours. Deflate the dough every 30 minutes during this resting period.

Preheat your oven to 425'

Divide the dough into 3 equal sections, From the sections into balls and roll each ball into a 20" rope. Then you braid the ropes. For a great demo on how this is done, check out  King Arthur's Flour how-to video

Place the braided dough on a baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper. Cover and allow to rest for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until puffy. I always gently poke the dough with 2 fingers. If it springs back right away, it's not ready yet. If it springs back slowly...it's ready to go!

Brush the dough with the egg & water mixture then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place the dough in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Slice and enjoy!

And don't forget to serve it with your favorite Boulder Organic Soup.

Interview with Kate Brown, Founder and President of Boulder Organic Foods

What inspired you to create Boulder Organic Foods?
My daughter had her tonsils removed and I went to the store to pick up soup for her.  When I began reading the ingredients list I was astonished about how much bad, unnecessary stuff was in the soups – even the organic options. I decided that I could do better. I knew how to make soup and I figured that others would prefer fresh, organic and nutritious options to offer their families.

How is your soup prepared?
Our soup is made in-house every day in small batches with the finest certified organic, gluten-free and non-GMO verified ingredients. And the soups are found in the grab-and-go and deli refrigerators of natural and conventional grocers nationally at similar price point to that of conventional soups.  I am exceptionally proud of our ingredients!

Which flavor is your favorite? 
It’s a tie between the Green Chile Corn Chowder and the Red Lentil Dahl.

What are the next flavor profiles Boulder Organic Foods will be pursuing? 
We have learned that exotic soup flavors just don’t appeal to most customers.  I think that soup is a very traditional, nostalgic and comforting food, so shoppers look for the old standbys and favorites.  We will continue to offer well-loved and traditional flavor profiles, with organic ingredients and cleaned up labels, that shoppers will consider a staple in their fridge. Stay tuned!

Do you plan on expanding the product line beyond soup? 
We certainly have considered an expansion.  It would make sense for us if our demand for fresh soup was leveling out, but we are nowhere near seeing a plateau in demand.  It’s been our position to pick one thing that we do really well and stick with it for a while. 

Do any of the soups have a special story behind their creation? 
Every single one has a history and some funny stories behind it!  I have definitely grown to love some particular vegetables that I didn’t previously like, due to the intense process of creating a new soup.  Butternut squash is a great example!  I didn’t appreciate the subtly of butternut squash until I started to play with flavors that enhance and amplify the deliciousness that is already there in the squash.  It is such a wonderful reward to find flavors that bring a look of delight to people’s faces when they try them!

Thank you Boulder Organic Foods and Kate Brown for giving me the opportunity to try your amazing soup! 

I was not compensated for this post, however Boulder Organic Foods supplied me with product coupons. All opinions are my own.