Introduction: Creamy Tomato Dill Soup With Georgian Cheese Flatbread

This is our take on the classic tomato soup with grilled cheese.  We'll start with the soup and then the bread.

Step 1: What You'll Need for the Soup

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
3 small carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
28 oz. plum tomatoes in juice
1 tsp dark brown sugar, or to taste
1 quart of vegetable bouillon or water
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
6 tbsp heavy cream
salt and pepper
fresh dill springs, to garnish

Step 2: Rocking the Mise-en-place

Prepare your mise-en-place. Chop the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Do not fret if your knife skills are subpar. It will all get blended later.

Step 3: Into the Pot It Goes!

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is just soft.

Step 4:

Add the garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes, brown sugar, and bouillon with the bay leaf to the pan.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Step 5: Blend It!

Let the soup cool slightly, then use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. 

Step 6: Flavor It

Stir in the dill.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook gently over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until hot.

Step 7:

At this point, you may cool the soup and place it in containers to freeze. I recommend glass containers because tomatoes will stain your plastic tupperware. Because it is a pureed soup, it will freeze beautifully.

Step 8: Finish and Eat!

Stir in the cream.  Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.  Ladle into warm soup bowls and garnish each serving with a swirl of cream and dill springs.  Serve.

Step 9: Bread Time

2 c warm water
Pinch of sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
5 - 6 cups flour (bread flour preferably, but All Purpose will work as well)
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

6 oz fresh young goat cheese (at room temperature)
2 oz Istara or other firm melting cheese
1/4 c sour cream
1.5 tsp fresh ground black pepper

fresh chopped dill (optional, but tasty and ties everything together)

Step 10: Preparing the Yeast

In a large bowl place the warm water (about 90 F to 105, too hot will kill the yeast, too cold will not activate it), stir in sugar and yeast and allow to activate for several minutes. When it begins to foam, the yeast is active and fermenting.

Step 11: Adding the Flour, Etc

Gradually add 2.5 c flour, stirring in the same direction constantly. Stir vigorously for about 1 minute. Sprinkle in salt, add oil and continue blending the rest of the flour until the dough is less sticky.

Step 12: Knead It

Remove dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled clean bowl to rise. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in volume (about 1.5 to 2 hours).

Step 13: Make the Filling

Place the cheeses, pepper and the sour cream in a bowl and blend until it is a smooth consistency.

Step 14: Preheat the Oven

Preheat oven to 450 F. Lightly oil two baking skeets.

Step 15: Cut and Roll

Gently push down on the dough and divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Flatten out each piece with your hand which has been lightly floured.  Working with one piece of dough at a time, take a rolling pin, stretch and flatten the dough into an oval about 8 to 10 inches long and 5 to 6 inches wide and no more than 1/4 inch thick. 

Step 16: Spread the Filling

Place a heaping 1/4 c of the filling into the center of the oval. Spread to within an inch of the edges. Tuck the edges over to make a thick rim.

Step 17: Bake

Slide the breads onto the baking sheets and place on the botom oven rack. Bake until golden, firm and crusty, approximately 12 - 15 minutes.

Step 18: Garnish

Garnish with freshly chopped dill and serve warm.

Step 19: The Finished Product

Serve the soup with the warm bread. Enjoy!

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