No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

SPLIT PEA SOUP (vegan) - why have I waited so long

I have just finished my first split pea soup for many years - a bowlful leftover from yesterday's evening meal. And I'm filled with regret that the last spoonful has just disappeared…

I was looking in the back of a top shelf of a cupboard for a container to put some lentils in, when I came across a jar containing some old split peas. I've no idea how old they were, but they must have been 5 years old, at least. 

OK, I thought, I'll give these a go!

So I put them on to boil in the morning, thinking an hour or so should do the trick - but they took virtually all day! Even when they were cooked, they didn't turn mushy, which was what I wanted, so I blitzed them with my stick blender.

When it came time for dinner, I chopped an onion, which I simmered in a little water, then added more water and a load of diced potatoes. Once these were cooked I added flavourings - a dessertspoon of vegan pesto, a sprinkle of mixed herbs, a teaspoon of bouillon powder and a dessertspoon of teriyaki soya sauce - my new flavouring of choice.

Then I combined the two saucepans, tasted the soup and adjusted the flavour.

I needed some bread to go with this, and I thought soda bread would do the trick. I knew I could knock some up pretty quickly, so I set to - and 14 minutes later, it was ready.

I also wanted some ground black pepper to go with the soup, so whilst the bread was cooking (in the frying pan) I quickly ground some peppercorns. My spice grinder leaves chunks of the peppercorns whole, so I sieve these out and put them in my peppermill - makes it easier to grind.

The combination of the peas, potatoes and black pepper is absolutely sublime - this'll be at least a weekly treat from now until the weather warms up in spring, I reckon.

200g green split peas
1 large onion - chopped
3 medium-sized potatoes - diced
Stock powder
Mixed herbs
Pesto (optional)
Black pepper to taste

If your split peas are reasonably fresh, they don't require soaking. Simmer them for about 45 minutes. Whilst these are cooking, chop the onions, cover them with water and start to simmer them - meanwhile, scrub or peel the potatoes, chop them fairly small, then add them to the onions.
Add the flavourings to the onion and potato mix, then, when the peas are soft and mushy, combine the two into one saucepan.

Check the flavours, then serve with black pepper and the soda bread.

Calorie count:
200g peas - 682
150g onion - 46
400g potatoes - 288
Flavourings, say 30

Total 1050 - serves 4, so approx 265 calories each serving.

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