Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sweet potato and split pea soup with feta bread

These pull apart loaves, a firm favourite around here, are the easiest thing in the world to make, and you could put any sort of filling in them that you wanted, like pestos or tapenades. And this soup is fabulous if you're coming down with a cold - it really gives you a good zing!

Sweet potato and split pea soup

1 onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon cummin powder
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 litre vegetable stock or water
1 cup yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed well

1 - Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, and cook the onion until tender and golden. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, chilli flakes and cummin, and cook for a minute or two.

2 - Add the vegetables and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Add the yellow split peas and stock, and bring to the boil, stirring often to stop the peas from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

3 - Once it comes to the boil, simmer covered for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the split peas are tender. Cool, then blend the soup until smooth. Reheat and serve.

Feta bread

1 1/2 cups warmish water
2 teaspoons (one 7 gram sachet) dried yeast
2 tablespoons honey
3 1/2 cups plain flour
100 grams firm feta, crumbled
1 handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Sea salt

1 - Combine the water and yeast in a jug. Let it sit for a few minutes, then stir in the honey until dissolved.

2 - Put the flour in a large bowl, and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture, and use a fork to combine. Turn out onto a well floured bench, and start to knead the dough, for a good five minutes, or however long it takes to sing along to a couple of songs on the radio. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Don't be afraid to put your back into it!

3 - Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and cover with cling wrap or a damp tea towel. Let rise in a nice warm place for a couple of hours, or until doubled in size. Alternatively, you could skip all this, and just nip to the local bakery for one of their finest.

4 - Preheat the oven to 200 C. Turn your dough out onto the bench, then punch down on the loaf, letting some air escape. Give it another quick knead, then divide into three sections.

5 - Grease a loaf tin really well. Divide each section into six balls (you shoud have 18 all up). Put the first six balls into the tin, spreading them out evenly. Brush the tops of the balls with olive oil, then scatter over the feta, parsley and garlic.

6 - Place another six balls on top of the others, and repeat. Top with the final six balls, brush the tops with olive oil, and top with some sea salt. Cover the loaf with the damp tea towel, and let the dough rise again in a nice warm spot (should take about 45 minutes).

7 - Bake the load for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden, and the base sounds hollow then tapped. Serve with the soup by pulling the sections apart.

No comments:

Post a Comment