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Soda bread

Winter Pumpkin soup, spiced lentil cake and soda bread


Soda bread

Winter Pumpkin soup, spiced lentil cake and soda bread



For the soup:

500g pumpkin – peeled, seeded and diced in to 1 inch cubes

1 large shallot - peeled and sliced

200g unsalted butter - diced

5g table salt

10g parmesan - grated

600ml chicken or vegetable stock

Crème fraiche – to serve


For the soda bread

250g bread flour

5g salt

7g bicarbonate of soda

50g sunflower seeds

55g feta cheese – cut into cubes

250ml buttermilk

5g fresh mint - chopped


For the spiced lentils

100g cooked puy lentils

50g red onion finely chopped

60ml soy sauce

60ml balsamic vinegar

40ml tomato sauce (ketchup)

20ml sweet chilli sauce

15g chopped pickled ginger

Pinch ground cumin


For the cake

340g spiced lentils (the above recipe makes this)

100g diced onion

160g flat mushrooms diced small

2g coriander seeds (about 15 seeds)

350g pumpkin seeds

20g sesame seeds

40g pine nuts

30g chopped tarragon

80g panko breadcrumbs


We love the smooth velvety texture of this soup, and for an everyday recipe the soup alone is delicious.  However, if serving for an occasion making the soda bread and spiced lentil cake too is well worth the effort.

For the soup:

1.  Over a medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pan soften the shallot and the diced pumpkin with the butter 

2.  Once softened add the salt and stock, bring to a simmer

3.  Place a lid on the pan and gently simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked through

4.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly

5.  Add the grated parmesan and mix well

6.  Blend the soup until smooth in a liquidiser

7.  Check for seasoning and add a little more salt if you like

8.  If serving alone, serve with crème fraiche and a twist of black pepper (or omit the crème fraiche if serving with spiced lentil cake)

Try roasting your pumpkin seeds, they make a great crunchy addition to soups, salads, casseroles and curries. Alternatively put them raw on your bird table.

For the soda bread:

1.  Place the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl and rub together

2.  Add the seeds and cheese and stir in, then add the buttermilk and mint and fold together gently until all the dry flour is incorporated

3.  Once it is all together, take out of the bowl and roll it around in some flour to make it easier to handle

4.  Place on to a grease proof tray and put 2 cuts on top 2cm deep to make a cross and place into the oven as soon as it is finished – (this will not require any proving)

 Bake at 240℃ for about 17 minutes

 For the spiced lentils:

1. Cook the onions without colour and when translucent add the cumin and cook out for 5 minutes without burning

2. Add the soy sauce and balsamic and reduce by half

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked lentils and the rest of the ingredients, check the seasoning and allow to cool

For the cakes:

1.  Roast the nuts and seeds in oil until golden brown

2.  Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes

3.  Add the spice lentil mix, panko breadcrumbs and tarragon, mix well

4.  Season and allow to rest for 1 hr to allow the panko breadcrumbs to take on the flavour and tighten the mix

5.  When ready give a good mix again and then weigh into 50g balls and shape

6.  Coat with a little flour, egg and breadcrumbs and then store until required

To finish the cakes for the soup, either deep fry on 180 for 3 minutes until golden or pan fry until golden on both side in a little oil on a moderate heat and place in the oven for 2 minutes at 180℃ to ensure the core temperature is hot.