Last week we had some rosemary and walnut bread from the market and it was delicious, I wasn't able to get there this week but we craved the delicious sweet nuttiness, so I thought I'd try to make some. Bread making takes rather a long time and with the kitchen in some disarray I needed a quicker solution. Soda bread is at the forefront of my mind as there seem to have been a number of TV cooks making it recently: Hugh FW and Nigella to name a couple.
I thought I'd try a rosemary and walnut version. I was so pleased with the result, the walnut pieces were nicely distributed through the bread and the rosemary flavour was strong enough without being overpowering.
A good bread needs a good soup so two recipes for the price of one today!
Rosemary and Walnut Soda Bread
Makes 1 loaf
450g plain white flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 oz finely chopped walnuts
1 oz coarsely chopped walnuts
2 good sprigs rosemary, finely chopped plus a few rosemary needles for decoration
350ml plain yoghurt
Heat the oven to 220C and lightly flour a large baking tray.
Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and the finely chopped walnuts and rosemary, mix together well. Now add the coarsely chopped walnuts and mix again. Finally add the yoghurt and mix together to form a sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring together into a ball. Flatten the ball to about 4cm deep then place on the floured baking tray. Cut a cross into the top of the loaf, use a floured knife to do this to stop it sticking in the dough, then sprinkle a few rosemary needles over the top.
Place in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes. The bread is ready when you tap it on the bottom and it sounds hollow. Place on a wire rack to cool slightly, then serve warm with the soup.
With the current range and availability of mushrooms in the greengrocers and the supermarket I had to make a creamy mushroom soup. Mushroom soup doesn't end up a very pretty colour but the flavour is immense, if you don't believe me give it a try and I'm sure you'll be addicted.
Creamy Mushrooms Soup
1kg mushrooms, any mix you like, I used chestnut and portobellini
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
small bunch of thyme
1ltr vegetable or chicken stock
100ml double cream
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until the onion is soft but not coloured. Add the sliced mushrooms and the thyme and cook for a couple of minutes then add the stock and milk and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Remove the bunch of thyme and blend the soup. Pour the blended soup through a sieve and return to a clean saucepan. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and stir well, gently reheat the soup, but do not allow it to boil.
Serve in warmed bowls with the rosemary and walnut soda bread. Bread and soup heaven!