Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Leek and Vegetable Soup and Cheesy Dampers

Just spent the night camping with my lovely friends in Michelle's paddock.  Spent a lovely evening around the campfire, with marshmallows and damper bread on sticks - takes me back to Guide Camp and making out tea over an open fire, so blissful!

So, home again with a glut of vegetables and several bags of marshmallows later, I need some nutrition!  Aha, Leek and Vegetable Soup, with leftover damper bread dough, to which I added cheese.  I will give you my verdict later!  I think people are afraid of soup - for no reason atall.  It is so simple to create and full of vital nutritious ingredients, which you can enhance by adding lentils, or bacon, or chicken or whatever you have in the 'fridge really.  Have a go and you will see how lovely and spirit warming a bowl of your own soup can be.

Leek and Vegetable Soup

4 medium leeks, sliced and washed
a knob of butter
2 carrots, cubed
a head of broccoli, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 potatoes, cubed (I don't always peel them)
Enough stock to cover the vegetables
Seasoning and as many fresh herbs as you can get

Fry the leeks in the butter in a large saucepan, until they are soft and golden - about 8 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, add the herbs and puree if desired.  Add a swirl of cream or milk to bring the soup to your favourite consistency.

Cheesy Damper Bread

300g self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
50ml water
a good grating of cheese (about 35 grates)

Mix all together, adding water little by little until the dough comes together.  You don't want it to be too sticky.  Tear small handfuls off and form into rounds.  Flatten slightly and place on a baking tray.  Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.  Eat immediately with a bowl of soup.

Alternatively, find a clean stick and wrap the dough firmly around the end.  Hold over the embers until crusted all over.  Remove from the stick and eat with lashings of cold butter!

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