Today is the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Saint Thomas, a Doctor of the Church, was a Dominican Friar, Priest, philosopher and theologian. He is considered one of the greatest theologians of all time.
I remember the parish we belonged to when Kiddo was still a kid. On the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, after mass every man, woman and child was given a small loaf of bread. Each loaf contained a quote from Saint Thomas Aquinas. In honor of his day, I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes and a humble supper of soup with bread.
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary
To one without faith, no explanation is possible
It is better to limp along the right path
Than to walk strongly in the wrong direction
A Humble Meal
Tuscan White Bean and Ham Soup
Honey Wheat Bread with Rolled Oats
Tuscan White Bean and Ham Soup
3 (15.5 oz) cans Cannellini White Beans
3 Garlic Cloves
7 oz Ham Steak
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
4 cups Chicken Broth
1 spring of fresh Rosemary
6 oz fresh Spinach
Black Pepper to taste
Kosher Salt to taste
Drain and rinse Cannellini Beans. Set aside. Mince garlic clove, set aside. Trim ham steak and cube into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for just a minute or so, until garlic starts to brown. Add ham and stir. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the onion powder and stir to blend. Add the Cannellini Beans, gently stir. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Stir to bring everything together. Add a sprig of Rosemary and bring the pot to a simmer. Place a lid over the pot, covering just half way. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the spinach, continue to simmer another 10 minutes. Taste, season with salt and pepper as desired.
Remove from heat. Transfer to a soup terrine for serving.
Honey Wheat Bread
2 1/2 cups warm Water (100 to 110 degrees)
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Honey
3 ½ cup Whole-Wheat Flour
2 tablespoons Cocoa
2 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
1 teaspoon Fine Salt
2 to 3 cups Bread Flour
1/3 cups Rolled Oats (for dusting loaves)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a dough hook, stir together water, oil, and honey until mixed well.
Add wheat flour to water mixture. Add cocoa, yeast, and salt. Stir until blended. Allow mixture to rest for 10 minutes.
Stir in bread flour, one cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and almost clears the sides of mixer, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in the bowl until doubled, anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Cover each piece with greased plastic wrap, and let dough rest for 5 minutes. While the bread dough rests, grease two 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan.
Shape the dough pieces into loaves, and sprinkle with oats. Place each loaf in the prepared pans and let rise until doubled, another 30 to 60 minutes.
Toward the end of the rising time, heat oven to 350 degrees. Once the loaves have doubled, place in the heated oven and bake at for 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from oven, remove from bread pan and let cool on a wire rack. When ready, slice and serve.