Comfort & Joy: Soda Bread & Gingery Carrot Soup

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Any regular followers of my Twitter feed will have picked up on the fact that I love a bit of comfort food. I have for a couple of weeks now been blathering on about stews, soups, puddings and risottos. This really is my favourite time of year both outside and in the kitchen.

So when the nice people at Dove’s Farm sent me a bag of their Organic Heritage Wholegrain Flour, to try out it had to be put to good, comforting use. Yesterday was particularly chilly and with some wobbly veg in the fridge, it was definitely a soup night. In order to fool my hubby into thinking that soup is in fact a meal in itself and not a starter I decided to crack open the flour and make a soda bread to serve warm with it.

I was initially a bit concerned about using the wholegrain flour for soda bread as wholemeal/grain flours can – in my clunky hands – make very heavy bread. However, as soon as I opened the bag I could see that it was very light in colour and texture. According to the blurb, it is made up of wheat varieties cultivated from an ancient seed bank. So my rather rustic looking final loaf was actually (in my head anyway!) historically correct!

The cooked loaf had a bit of a biscuity taste to the crust which I really liked and was light in texture. It was still good today when we finished it off with Bavarian smoked ham and chilli jam for lunch. To be honest as I am so bad at bread, I am now kicking myself for not trying soda bread earlier. It will definitely be bread I make more often and I would try this Heritage Wholegrain flour again as well. In fact I still have half a bag left so I am planning an apple cobbler with it at some point- comfort in pudding form!

Gingery Carrot Soup

Serves 4 (or 2 with seconds)

4 x carrots

2 x red onions

2 x sticks celery

1 x small thumb of ginger, peeled

1x clove garlic peeled

1L veg stock

Black pepper

 

Thinly slice all of the veg and add to a large pan with a glug of olive oil. Put the lid on and allow to cook for about five minutes in the steam.

Add a litre of veg stock, a generous grind of pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 mins.

Once the veg is soft I let it cool slightly before getting my stick blender in there – hot soup splashes aren’t good. Blend until smooth, adding more stock if you like a thinner consistency, and check for seasoning.

Serve with warm soda bread

 

Doves Farm Soda Bread

The recipe is on the side of the Heritage Wholegrain Flour bag, so I decided to give it a whirl.

500g x Organic Heritage Wholegrain Flour (or your bread flour of choice), plus a little extra for dusting

½ tsp x salt

1 tsp x bicarb

2 tsp x cream of tartar

450ml milk

 

Heat oven to 180c

Mix the dry ingredients. Add the milk (a little at a time as you might not need it all) until you form a slightly sticky dough

Form in to a ball, place onto an oiled tray and cook for 30-40 mins

Delicious warm and well buttered!

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