Meat free monday – garlic soda bread and roast tomato soup

You know I’m a sucker for supposedly easy bread, and the last recipe from A Girl Called Jack worked really well, so I’m trying another.

Easy Peasy Garlic Bread – there’s even lemon juice in the recipe so if it’s properly easy we can all say “easy peasy lemon squeezy”.

I’m also making roast tomato soup with tomatoes from the garden, so this counts as Meat-Free Monday, but only by accident. It’s a very approximate kind of soup, so I’ve included no quantities here.

The finished article - bread and soup

The finished article – bread and soup

Tomato soup and garlic bread

  • Halve some tomatoes (and cut up a red pepper if you want)
  • Put into a roasting pan with some olive oil
  • Put oven on to 180 (and think that you should have put it on already)
  • Go have a cup of tea while oven heats up
  • Go back to kitchen and follow Jack’s instructions for bread
  • (200ml milk, add 2 tsp lemon, wait a bit. 200g self-raising flour, 1tsp bicarb, crushed garlic, parsley, mix it all up, put in tin)
  • I love garlic so I used 2 very large cloves of garlic
  • Put bread in oven
  • Look at tomatoes – are they looking nice and shrivelly?
  • Gently fry some onion and garlic in a saucepan if you want (with the garlicy bread I just did onion)
  • Chuck tomatoes (and pepper if using) into the saucepan with the garlic/onion, add some hot stock (from a cube,, or gel thingy, or from boiled bones if that’s how you roll), cook for long enough that you think everything is soft, blend with a stick blender
  • Taste soup. Is it too thick? Add water. Too bland? Add salt. Want it creamy? Stir in some creme fraiche or yoghurt. Fancy some herbs? Chuck in some fresh basil.
  • At the appropriate point, take the bread out of the oven

A note about herbs. Parsley is on my personal list of “difficult herbs”. Rosemary and sage – put them in the ground and they will live forever. Thyme, oregano, mint, put in a pot outside, water occasionally, they will live forever (even though they might look dead over winter). Basil – put in a pot inside, water when it looks wilty, chop the tops off when you want some, it will live for months. Coriander and parsley – no matter what you do they will start looking weird and then keel over.

Here come the pictures

Here is my fally-over parsley. A bunch is 90p and a plant £1, so I always try.

Here is my fally-over parsley.
A bunch is 90p and a plant £1, so I always try.

"More like a thick batter than a dough" - if you say so Jack

“More like a thick batter than a dough” – if you say so Jack

Do home grown tomatoes taste better? I don't know, but they taste smugger.

Do home grown tomatoes taste better? I don’t know, but they taste smugger.

Does having to lever it out with a fish slice mean it's not cooked properly? I'm not sure.

Does having to lever it out with a fish slice mean it’s not cooked properly? I’m not sure.

The verdict: I thought I would have spare leftover soup. I did not. It’s surprising how many tomatoes you need to make soup for 2 people. My boyfriend liked the bread. I was unsure about it – possible I just don’t like the cakey texture of soda bread? The 2 giant cloves of garlic did not make it as garlicy as I expected so if I make it again I’ll add more garlic.

Was it easy peasy? Yes it was. It wasn’t quite to my taste but that’s probably just me not really being keen on soda bread – oops!

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