Lingonberry Rye Bread and Spicy Root Veg Soup

Oops…It’s been a while since I posted, sorry about that. Things have been quite busy over the past few days, I’ll try not to leave it as long next time though.

I went to Ikea on Saturday, was very restrained, and managed to get through the main checkout with only two items – a record surely! Unfortunately I then went to the food bit to get meatballs (do they put some sort of addictive chemical in those things?!) and came across something I’ve not seen before – Lingonberry bread mix! Now, usually I prefer to make my bread from scratch, but I’ve been meaning to try rye bread for a while and having had good experiences with every other foodstuff I’ve had from Ikea I thought this could be worth a try.

The verdict? This bread was easy to make – mix, knead, rise for 30 mins, shape, rise again and bake – and I’m pleasantly surprised by the result. It’s not too heavy or dark  – I’m not a fan of the ‘black’ rye breads – but has a good nutty flavour and a slightly chewy texture. The only complaint would be that for a product sold as ‘lingonbrod’ there were hardly any berries in the mix – I counted about 4 in the whole of one loaf! Aside from that, I like it, and I’ll definitely get more next time I go.

Since I had some fresh bread, and the temperature is distinctly frosty, I thought I’d make some warming soup for dinner. The following recipe is one that I make on a fairly regular basis,  varying the vegetables depending on what I happen to have, but I do like it when I have sweet potato to add to the mix. I also like to use butternut squash, swede, white potatoes, turnips, and also fresher veg like courgette and aubergine – but today I had to keep the list of ingredients to what I had in the box!

Ingredients: 1 red onion, finely chopped; 2 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped; 3 carrots, diced; 2 parsnips, diced; 1 sweet potato, diced; 1 star anise, 2-3 cloves, 2 cardamom pods, crushed; 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds; 1 1/2 tsp cumin; 1 tsp cinnamon; 1/2 tsp turmeric; 1 tsp chilli paste; approx. 700ml chicken or vegetable stock; 1 tbsp tomato puree; 1 tin chickpeas.

Gently saute the onions in olive oil for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and coriander seeds and stir. Add in the diced carrot and parsnip, stir and cook for 4-5 minutes, then add the sweet potato. Cook for another couple of minutes, then add the stock (enough to cover the vegetables) and bring to the boil. Meanwhile add the other spices, chickpeas, tomato puree and black pepper to season (you shouldn’t need salt as there will be plenty in the stock.) Simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender, check that the seasoning is to your liking and adjust if necessary, then serve with plenty of buttered fresh bread. Perfect for a wintry weekday night, and it freezes well too so you can always have some to hand.

Ps – this is the first time I’ve linked up to another blog, but I’m sure making this bread for the first time – hopefully signalling a start to a new era of more adventurous breadbaking – qualifies me for ‘Meaningful Monday’?

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