Monday, 21 May 2012

Cheeze Please Soup and Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Bread

We have been making this soup for ages and I genuinely don’t know where the recipe came from. I got it off the internet several years ago and I do not know the source from whence it sprung. I think it might have been the Uncheese Cookbook, but having not seen that I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that it is delicious and always omnivore approved. 

Cheeze Please Soup

You need:

1 small potato, diced (I tend to use 2-3 small new potatoes and don’t bother to peel and they work just fine)

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

½ a red pepper, chopped (optional but adds to the orange-y colour)

2 ½ cups vegetable stock

1 tin small white beans such as haricot or navy, rinsed and drained (I use 1 ½ cups of haricot beans I cooked from scratch cuz I’m a smarty pants)

½ cup nutritional yeast flakes (called Marigold Engevita in the UK)

2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice

½-1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp EACH ground cumin and coriander

1 jar salsa (we like sainsbury Smoky BBQ dip)

1 ½ cups frozen corn, defrosted

½ to 1 cup non dairy milk

 1. Put potato, onion, carrot and pepper (if using) in a saucepan with the 2 ½ cups vegetable stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat and then simmer until the veg are soft.

2. In the meantime pour boiling water over the corn and let sit for a few minutes then drain in a colander and await further instructions.

3. When veg are tender, remove from heat and stir in half the corn and everything from the beans on down--EXCEPT the “milk”

4. Puree with an immersion blender until it is smooth as you like--we like it a bit chunky. Then add the rest of the corn and the “milk” until it is as thin as you like it and reheat until piping hot.

 That’s it! This is really good and tastes like queso dip.  If you are frugal and have it with a salad it lasts for 2 nights. It thickens up in the fridge so add a bit more milk to thin it and reheat.

 On the second night I like to serve with bread. This is easy to make and it can be made gluten free! Bonus! My version is GF, but since most of you don’t have an issue with what I’ll do it the regular way first and show you how to make it GF later.

Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Bread

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F

You need:

1 1/3 cup plus 2 TB wholemeal flour, sifted (or use your favourite commercial GF blend!)

3 tsp baking powder

2 TB nutritional yeast

Pinch oregano and basil (optional)

¼-1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes (not the oil packed kind but the ones you re-hydrate in water)

4 spring onions, chopped (I use the white onion-y bits and some of the green tops cut with scissors

1/3 cup olives

Non dairy milk

2 TB olive oil  (optional)

Squidge tomato puree (optional)

Pinch sea salt

You need to:

1. Snip the sun dried tomatoes into wee pieces and pour a bit of hot water over them until they are just covered and let them sit.

2. Sift your flour and baking powder, Add the nutritional yeast and herbs, spring onions and olives.

3. Squeeze the water from the tomatoes (save the soaking water!) and put them into the dry ingredients and mix well until covered in flour.

4. See how much tomato water there is. Use “milk” to get the liquid up to 150ml. If you’d like it with a bit more umph! Then add a squidge tomato puree and mix in. Now add your optional oil. I forgot it this time and it was fine so I think I’ll leave it out in future.

5. Mix the wet into the dry and mix until a soft dough forms. If too wet then add a few more shakes flour, if too dry a glug of “milk.”

6. Shape with your hands to form a small circle and score into quarters. Sprinkle on the sea salt and pat it into the dough.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

 First GF advice:

You can use a commercially prepared mix like Bob’s Red Mill or Dove’s Farms or do what I do and make your own. In things like brownies you can get away with using just healthy, wholegrain GF flours, but in bread I find a bit of starch really does help to give it a lighter texture so it doesn’t appear you are eating a brick. But starches are high on the glycemic index and have no nutritional value so use sparingly. The GF mix that seems to work for me combines several highly nutritious flours with some starch. Here it is if you like to mix your own.

 Spidergrrl’s GF flour mix

1 ½ cups buckwheat flour

1 cup quinoa flour

1 cup teff flour

2 cups chickpea flour

1cup masa harina flour

2 ½ cups corn starch (called corn flour in the UK)

Mix really well until no one flour can be seen. It comes up to a nice light brown colour. Transfer into a storage container. This makes 9 cups and so gives you plenty for recipes all mixed up and ready to go. There is nothing that puts you off GF baking more than spending 3 hours mixing flour every time you want to bake something. On my next batch I plan on trying to reduce the starch a bit more--down to 2 cups from 2.5. The original recipe called for 3 cups which was one-third of the flour--but I just can’t cope with that little nutrition.

Note: If I had a choice I would use tapioca starch instead of corn flour--but I can’t find it any more so corn flour it is then. Besides corn flour is cheaper.

 Second GF advice:

As bad as you want to tear into fresh, hot bread if you have baked it GF try and resist. When hot the bread seems all “gluey” but settles down into bread texture once cooled. If making this GF, bake it ahead of time and let cool. If you can eat wheat, you lucky bastard, then chow down on it hot.

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