New England Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl

Last week I shared some great ideas for fantastic fall soups. What pairs beautifully with soups to complete the family meal? Bread, of course! A perfectly crusty sourdough bread bowl is the perfect vessel for a creamy lobster bisque or clam chowder. Tomato soup is always made more delicious with some cheddary biscuits. And sweet or savory cornbread is a perfect complement to a hearty chili or stew.

So naturally, with all those great soup recipes, I thought it only made sense to share some perfect bread options to go alongside that pot of steaming, hot soup. Whether you want to make your own crusty sourdough bread bowls, biscuits perfect for dipping or even savory quick breads, there are dozens of tasty options.

Here are a few of my favorites. For more, visit our Money-saving Recipes board on Pinterest.

Bread bowls

Cheddar broccoli soup, fully loaded baked potato, clam chowder and even beef stew is always more delicious when served in a hollowed-out, super-crusty bread bowl. Sure, you can head over to your favorite bakery and buy a half dozen bread bowls for your Sunday dinner, or you can actually try your hand at making your own bowl. Or, if you do opt for that bakery version, spruce it up by adding some rich garlic butter and popping it in the oven to brown before filling with soup.

Try this recipe: In a stand mixer dissolve 2 packets of yeast in 2 cups plus 4 tablespoons warm water. Mix with 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons sugar and 3 teaspoons salt. Add 6 1/2 cups flour. Knead for 5 minutes. Let rise until double. Divide in 6 portions and shape into 4-inch round loaves. Let rise on greased cookie sheet until double. Top with seasoned egg wash and cook for 15 minutes in a 400-degree oven. Remove and brush with remaining egg wash. Cook 10-15 minutes more.

Biscuits

Biscuits are such a versatile bread. Perfect for breakfast smothered in sausage gravy. Topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Sliced and filled with meat and cheese for a perfect sandwich. And then there are those perfectly seasoned, cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster made even better when dipped into the garlicky scampi pasta sauce. And, of course, biscuits are perfect for dipping into homemade soups.

Try Rosemary Parmesan Biscuits. In a bowl combine 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 tablespoons sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and black pepper, 1/4 cup chopped rosemary and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Whisk until combined. Add in 5 tablespoons unsalted, very cold butter cut into pieces. Cut into dry ingredients. Pour in 1 1/3 cups half and half. Stir until combined. Form biscuits, top with melted butter and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Quick breads

Sometimes time is short and you don’t always have the luxury of being able to bake up some crusty, yeasty bread. But, with some great recipes for savory quick breads, that soup dinner can be even more comforting when served along a few slices of cornbread, zucchini cheddar chive buttermilk bread, cheddar and green onion soda bread, or even savory caprese bread.

I’m excited to try this Amish Sour Cream Cornbread. In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon each of baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Add in 1 cup sour cream, 1 large beaten egg, 2 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 cup milk. Mix until just combined. Pour into greased 9-by-5-inch bread pan and bake for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees.

— Jennifer Durrant