Courgette, pea and basil soup with Irish soda bread
Harvest of the day
Courgette, parsley, leek, garlic, basil, apples
Roasted Courgette, pea and basil soup
- 1900 g courgettes (zucchini) about 3 large courgettes
- 2 leek
- 8 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoon olive or rapseed oil
- 1500 ml vegetable
- 400 g frozen peas
- 150 g parmesan optional
- 40 g fresh basil
- 8 tablespoon cream or milk
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan) / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4.
- Trim the ends off the courgettes and slice them into chunks about 1cm thick. Place on a baking tray / roasting tin.
- Trim the ends off the leek and slice into rounds of a similar size. Place on the baking tray along with the garlic cloves, then drizzle everything in the olive or rapeseed oil, season with salt and black pepper, and toss everything together until fully coated in the oil.
- Roast the veg for 40-45 minutes, turning occasionally, until soft and golden brown (but not too charred).
- Meanwhile, make up the vegetable stock with boiling water in a heatproof jug, then tip in the frozen peas and set aside to let them thaw.
- Tip the roasted vegetables into a saucepan, along with the stock and peas, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the peas are just cooked through.
- Add parmesan, basil (keep a little of both back for garnish), and cream. Use a hand blender to blitz to a smooth purée then taste and add salt and black pepper as required.
- 250g plain white flour
- 250g plain wholemeal flour
- 100g porridge oats
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 25g butter, cut in pieces
- 500ml buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C and dust a baking sheet with flour. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then rub in the butter. Pour in the buttermilk and mix it in quickly with a table knife, then bring the dough together very lightly with your fingertips (handle it very, very gently). Now shape it into a flat, round loaf measuring 20cm/8in in diameter.
Put the loaf on the baking sheet and score a deep cross in the top. (Traditionally, this lets the fairies out, but it also helps the bread to cook through.) Bake for 30-35 minutes until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If it isn’t ready after this time, turn it upside down on the baking sheet and bake for a few minutes more.
Transfer to a wire rack, cover with a clean tea towel (this keeps the crust nice and soft) and leave to cool. To serve, break into quarters, then break or cut each quarter in half to make 8 wedges or slices – or simply slice across. Eat very fresh.
- 2 Bramley Apples peeled and chopped into small pieces.
- 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
- 1 tsp Water
- 200 g Butter unsalted
- 5 tbsp Golden Syrup
- 50 g Light Brown Sugar
- 75 g Demerara Sugar
- 400 g Oats
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 180°c (160 fan/ Gas 4/ 350F) and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper.
- Place the chopped Bramley apples into a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and 1 teaspoon of water. Cook on a low heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the apple starts to soften. Set aside.
- In another saucepan, melt the butter, sugars and syrup on a low heat for a few minutes.
- Stir in the oats and cinnamon.
- Press half the mixture into a lined baking tin and press down firmly with the back of a spoon.
- Spread over the apples, pressing them down lightly with your hand or a spoon.
- Top the apples with the other half of the flapjack mixture, firmly press it down with the back of spoon and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Score into bars lightly then allow to cool completely in the tin. I often place the tin in the fridge for an hour to help the flapjack set.