Sunday, 7 November 2010

And so to bread

I'm not wild about cookery programmes on TV. Most of the recipes are too complex, too meaty, or just plain weird. However I'm really enjoying Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new series, River Cottage Everyday. Look what I made this morning.

Now I know it's not the prettiest loaf, but believe me it was the easiest bread I ever baked. It's soda bread. That means no yeast and hardly any kneading. See here for the recipe. Admittedly Hugh's recipe did not say to dust the dog with flour, but I'm a messy cook in a small kitchen.

While the bread was in the oven I made my back-of-the-pantry soup, which means using whatever vegetables are lying around. Lovely to have hunks of warm fresh bread to dip in! The bread tasted slightly sweeter than most breads, and the texture was more cakey inside the crisp crust.

Last week I made another recipe from Hugh's programme, Butternut and Nut Butter Soup. I'd made butternut squash soup before, but the addition of peanut butter, fresh ginger and coriander gave the recipe a lot more flavour. Sorry Hugh, but I did omit the lime. I took a batch of this soup to work and my colleagues enjoyed it too.

Although I miss being in the garden once autumn comes, it's nice to be in the kitchen a bit more doing the kind of cooking I don't tend to do in the summer. Now I have to go and do a pile of washing up, so I'll leave you with a picture of sunset over suburbia.

17 comments:

Christine said...

Soda bread is something I've never tried, although we bake our own conventional loaves (or rather, the breadmaker does).

I agree with you about the autumnal pleasure of spending more time in the kitchen when gardening isn't an option. However, I'm trying not to go into full casserole and cake mode because the writing must go on.

joanne fox said...

It really is so simple Christine, and sometimes it's nice to try something different for a change.

I hardly ever make cakes, but a nice veggie stew with dumplings is the highlight of my winter!

Joanna said...

This is a great post, because it reminds me how much I like soda bread, especially that cakey texture. This is absolutely my favourite time of year, because the early dark evenings are just right for bread and soup, especially after a brisk walk to the field to feed our ponies and pick up all their poo. I'm always freezing if I go there after the sun starts to drop. Nothing is nicer than warming up afterwards with hot, home-made food. I love making vegetable soup or a warming veggie chilli at this time of year.

bazza said...

Hello Joanne. I adore soda bread and it's never so good as when we make occasional vists to my wifes family in Belfast. We always bring some home and coincidentally I also love butternut squash soup which my wife makes. I think she adds red peppers but I like the sound of Hugh's version although the addition of lime sounds unappealing to me.
This is definely my favourite time of year and I am even happier now that it's properly cold!
Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Old Kitty said...

Peanut butter in soup?!?!?! With ginger?!?! Wow!! Now that is one soup I would love to taste! Thanks for the info on Hugh's latest cookery programme!

I think your soda bread looks fabulous!!!! It's fresh looking and I could smell its yummy aroma!! Well done you!!

Have a great Sunday, take care!
x

joanne fox said...

Joanna I am intrigued by what you do with all the pony poo!

Bazza, there was a chilli in this soup, but I think red peppers would work really well to.

Kitty I was dubious about the peanut butter as it's quite oily and I thought it might separate in the soup. But it was fab! A bit of fresh ginger is good in all kinds of vegetable soups as it just adds a bit of a kick. Ginger is also very warming in the winter - I love it!

THE SNEE said...

Hi Joanne, Yummee! I haven't made soda bread in years and it's a great reminder that one can make "easy" bread. I also have never used any recipes by Hugh before, but I'm quite excited to try this butternut squash soup even with the lime! Thanks for this hearth-warming November post. Cozy imagery is greatly needed at this time of year.

joanne fox said...

Snee, the lime would certainly give it some zing! I was just a bit wary of overwhelming the other flavours, but if I cooked this again maybe I'd try half a lime to compare the taste. Ooh, I love soup. I could talk about it for hours! Thanks for visiting and following :-)

Ellie said...

Yum...I love soda bread. Can't wiat to see what you make next!

THE SNEE said...

Me too! I like to create soups using a technique that I call "Dilute a Meal", I know-not an appetizing name, but it's similar to back of the pantry soup except that it comes out of the fridge. Diluting curries, stews, casseroles stir fries and even pasta dishes with a rich broth can create culinary magic in moments....Just don't tell the family how you did it. Yikes, enough blogging around, I better go check out my refrigerator for ideas!

joanne fox said...

Snee, that reminds me of student days when I would cook a veggie stew, the next night curry the remains, then on the third night make soup with the last bit!

Happy cooking.

Teresa Ashby said...

I have never tasted soda bread - you've inspired me to give it a try! I've got a soup on the go at the moment so a perfect time to make it.

joanne fox said...

Let us know how you get on with it Teresa. I'm always prepared for new recipes to be a disaster the first time I try them, but I was really pleased with my soda bread!

brokenbiro said...

Mmmm - bread looks great but the soup sounds FABULOUS - d'you think it would work with pumpkin... yeah, the one i never got around to carving...

joanne fox said...

Yes I'm sure it would work with pumpkin as they are similar in taste and texture. I have used butternut squash in recipes for pumpkin soup, and vice versa. Enjoy!

Madeleine said...

I think the loaves that look the least pretty taste the best LOL! I love butternut squash Mmmmm! Hubgry now off for some lunch. :O)

Fickle Cattle said...

I've never heard of soda bread before. That's interesting. Not pretty though. Is it good?

http://ficklecattle.blogspot.com/