If you’ve had a bad day
a bad week
a bad month…
If you’re too tired to go on, too frustrated to cope, too stressed out to sleep…
If you’re sad, lonely, heartbroken or heartsick –
soup and bread
soup and bread.
It’s probably – almost certainly, in fact – not a cure, but it’s not a bad place to start. Cooking is like therapy for me, despite the dirty dishes; it cleanses my mind as it filthies my kitchen, so it’s ok. more than once recently soup has been a salve for my soul and I invite you to my table with whatever you wish to bring, whether seasonings or season’s ills. Let us celebrate the mere fact of being alive.
Pumpkin Potato Soup
adapted from The Cook’s Companion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
5 small potatoes, cubed
1 small pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed
2 tsp smokey paprika
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 bay leaf
750 ml veggie stock
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add onions and lower heat. Sauté over medium heat for about two minutes, then add garlic and cook another minute. Add potatoes and pumpkin and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring.
Stir in paprika, allspice, bay leaf and vegetable stock and simmer for about twenty minutes or until potato is cooked through.
Fish out the bay leaf and puree the soup, then divide between three bowls and serve with cracked black pepper and pouring cream, and soda bread to dip.
Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from The Cook’s Companion
200 g white flour
250 g wholemeal flour (you can use all white or all wholemeal if you want to)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
350 ml buttermilk
extra buttermilk to brush over the top
Preheat oven to 450°Fahrenheit/230°Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and make a well in the centre. Mix in the buttermilk with a knife as much as you can. Flour your bench and dump out the dough , then gently knead in together (it may be a bit sticky). Gather the dough together into a round loaf shape or three scones. Brush with buttermilk and bake 15 minutes, then lower heat to 400°F/205°C and bake another 20 minutes. Bake the scones at 20 minutes at 450°F/230°C