Friday, 28 February 2014

Roast pumpkin soup with Soda bread

Long time no see.It's been raining in England for so long, and now seems to have finally stopped: Yay. Thankfully i wasn't flooded, but the weather did seem to pull me towards unhealthy comfort food (slaps self for eating too much chocolate). So here is a comforting recipe that serves about a billion people, but is tremendously delish, but good for you too.

 The soup is a made up recipe, from my mum, and is probably the best I've ever tasted. I roast the pumpkin first, which might seem like a faff, but is worth it. To make this extra special; use homemade stock, chicken is good but to transform it altogether use a ham stock,(my mum it with a Christmas gammon bone). This recipe makes enough for 12 people, or two large saucepans. I normally use just one saucepan for my family, and freeze the other for a later date.
Soda bread is quick and easy, and for those who are impatient i.e. me. There are many recipes out there, either containing yogurt or buttermilk. I never have buttermilk but you can make it by adding lemon juice to milk.This recipe doesn't state using oats on top, but i like using them because it gives a nice rustic look.

Pumpkin Soup
Serves 12


2 good quality pumpkins( i use kabocha squash, a green skinned pumpkin from Waitrose)
2 large onions
olive oil
salt and pepper
enough stock, such as chicken, vegetable or ham, to cover the pumpkin, add more if you prefer a thinner soup.
Cream or yogurt to serve.

Preheat oven to 180°. cut the pumpkins up and remove seeds. Cut into medium sized chunks.coat with oil and salt, and pop into a roasting tray, until soft all the way through. Take out and leave to cool. meanwhile saute the onions until soft. When cool remove the skins from the flesh. Divide the onions between two saucepans, then add half of the pumpkin to each, and enough stock to both. Slowly warm through the pumpkin, blend until there are no lumps:taste, and add seasoning if needed. Serve with a drizzle or a dollop of yogurt.

  • Soda Bread
  • Ingredients
  • 450g self-raising white flour, plus extra for dusting and rolling
  • 450g wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 500g full-fat natural yogurt
  • 350ml full-fat milk, plus extra for glazing or rolled oats to sprinkle on top.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. dust baking tray with flour
  2. Put the white and wholemeal flour into a large bowl, stir in the sugar, bicarb and salt.Make a well in the centre.
  3. Mix the yogurt and milk in a large jug until smooth. Pour roughly a fifth of the milk mixture into the well and mix some of the flour into the liquid with a wooden spoon. Add a little more and continue to draw the flour into the liquid. Keep adding and mixing until all the liquid and flour is combined.
  4. Using your hands, knead the dough for a couple of minutes, or until light and spongy. You may need to add a little extra flour if the dough is sticky, but try not to add too much as you want the bread to be light and airy.
  5. Roll into a large ball, flatten slightly and make a cross in the centre with the end of a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with oats if desired. This recipe will also make six large rolls.
  6. bake for 35-45, or 25-35 for rolls until well risen and golden brown.It should have a nice crust and sound hollow when tapped underneath.Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

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