This week I have chosen a cheery, easy winter warmer. A lovely soup and crusty cheesy, soda bread. Suitable for veganuary too! You cannot go wrong with a lovely bowl of soup and this one is a cracker. I would say you can’t go wrong with the soda bread but I did, baking powder instead of bicarb of soda. Was still lovely though.Vary the chili flakes to taste. There is an online blogger https://www.easypeasyfoodie.com/ who has a brilliant site for wannabe cooks like me. I’ve downloaded her free meal planner to see how I get on with it. Why don’t you try it too and let me know how you get on with it? You’ll notice her photography skills are way better than mine!!
Spicy Tomato and Red Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger puree
- 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (1/4 tsp is ample if you are not so keen on spicy)
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 175g dried red lentils
- 1000mls vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
Easy Cheese Soda Bread (with vegan option)
- Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a wide, deep pan and add the diced onion. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes until the onions have softened but are not brown.
- Add in the garlic, ginger, cumin and cayenne pepper and fry for 1 more minute. Then add in the tinned tomatoes, lentils and stock. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and then simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are really soft. Stir occasionally. Taste and add salt and pepper if required (We found it didn’t need any). Serves 4.
- 150 g plain white flour
- 200 g wholemeal flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 100 g mature cheddar cheese (or hard vegan cheese)
- 285 tub buttermilk (or make your own 200ml milk – dairy, almond or oat and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar)
- Preheat your oven to 220C/ 00C fan. Dust a non-stick baking tray with a little flour.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, salt, baking soda and grated cheese.
- Pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Bring the dough together into a ball using your hands. The dough should just come together into a ball, it shouldn’t be wet. If it doesn’t all come together add a splash of water. If it’s too wet add a touch more flour.
- Roll the dough into a ball and place on your prepared baking tray.
- Flatten the ball a little and then cut a deep cross into it. The cross should go almost to the base of the loaf – but not quite!
- Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes until cooked all the way through and golden on top.
- Ideally, serve warm – straight out of the oven!
Recipes inspired by easypeasyfoodie.com
Photos M Campbell