What a beautiful day – sunshine, blue sky but really cold! Today I thought we would keep it simple – soup and a really easy no-yeast bread to go with it , followed by a nursery pudding – you deserve it! For me, nothing says comfort any more than custard, even just a bowl on its own – and when it’s served with a simple syrup sponge for one, perfect!
Chunky vegetable soup
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 large onions roughly chopped
- 2 large leeks, thinly sliced
- 1 turnip, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
In a saucepan, melt butter with oil and add carrots, onions, leeks, turnips and parsnips can cook over a gentle heat till lightly browned
Add sweet potato, potato and stock. Slowly bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for about 20 mins or until tender.
Remove from heat and place half of soup in blender and puree *
Return to rest of soup in pan and gently reheat.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives and/or parsley
*You can leave it all chunky if you prefer
And to serve with:
Stilton and walnut Soda Bread:
- 500grams white flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 100 grams walnut pieces
- 200 grams of Stilton, crumbled (look out for those shelves in the supermarket with discounted goods – you can usually find some bits of Stilton – keep it in the freezer and grate when you need it
- 400 mls buttermilk (a substitute for this is to add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to ordinary milk and let it stand for 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200oC
Put flour, 1teaspoon fine salt and the bicarb in a bowl and mix well. Add the walnuts and stilton and stir gently. Make a well in the centre and pour in half the buttermilk. Using one hand draw the flour into the milk. Continue to add the milk until all the flour has been incorporated and you have a sticky dough.
Tip out onto a floured board, shape into a ball and flatten slightly. Place on a baking tray and make a deep cross with a sharp knife.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
It’s best eaten straight away – but freezes beautifully – and also makes lovely toast the next day!
Now for the Piece de Resistance – who will resist? All that lovely syrup oozing out when you turn it upside down?
- 50g Margarine
- 50g Granulated Sugar
- 50g SR Flour
- 1 Egg
- 2tbsp Milk
- 1 – 2 tbsp Jam or Syrup
- Flavours: 1tsp Ginger, 1tbsp Coconut, 1tbsp cocoa (alternatives)
Put the syrup (or jam if you prefer) in the bottom of a small glass bowl.
Beat the margarine with the sugar, add the egg and fold in the flour (if you want to add any other flavourings do it now). Add the milk (it will seem quite sloppy but that’s ok)
Spoon on top of the syrup and microwave for 4 – 5 minutes.
THE SYRUP WILL BE MEGA HOT so leave it for a moment or two before turning out
Its almost worth delaying Spring for!