Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Bread buns | Turnip tomato soup with parsley

Hearty soups and home-made bread buns keep me going these days when in my mind I just want to escape to another planet. Honestly, I don't think I'm handling the new Trump-ideology-era as well as I thought I could. Four years of 'alternative facts' is a daunting prospect. Without books I would be lost; in my attempt to block the news I have even started listening to books podcasts from 2012! It's therapy. And so is spending quality moments in the kitchen. A photo of the bread buns that I posted on Instagram on Sunday sparked this blog entry. Two people asked for the recipe and I decided to bake them again and share with another recipe for turnip tomato soup with parsley.

The bread buns are adapted from a bread recipe (without seeds) printed on the packet of the Doves Farm quick yeast. It needs no activation, you simply add it to the flour before the liquid. In the bread buns I use coconut oil but any quality vegetable oil will do. The sesame seeds are my addition and usually I top the buns with both sesame and poppy seeds. The original recipe contains plain flour but every time I make the buns I substitute about 60 grams (¼ cup) for wholemeal spelt flour, to add dietary fibre.


500 g organic white spelt flour or plain flour
½ teaspoon fine sea/Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon organic unrefined cane sugar
1 teaspoon Doves Farm quick yeast
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
275-300 ml warm water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
optional topping: milk/soya milk; sesame seeds; poppy seeds

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and sesame seeds, with a wooden spoon.

Mix in the water, starting with 275 ml, adding the oil as the dough comes together (if using coconut oil melt it before use; there is 1 teaspoon of oil in the original recipe). Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if needed.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for 4-5 minutes. Return it to the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for at least 35 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 parts and roll into balls. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment and flatten each slightly with the palm of your hand. Brush each one with milk/soya milk and sprinkle sesame seeds on top (and poppy seeds if using). Bake at 200°C/400°F (180°C fan oven) for 12-14 minutes.

[Note for American readers: 1 cup of white spelt flour is about 130 grams, which means that 500 grams = scant 3½ cups, depending on the type you use. For the warm water: prepare 1¼ cup. Start adding 1 cup and two tablespoons to the dough and add 1 tablespoon or more if needed.]

Uppskrift á íslensku.

The taste of this soup is partly the work of two of my children. It was a cold winter day and we wanted to make a soup with turnip, celery and lentils. We are big fans of swedes and turnips in this house. Turnips (white or yellow with purple near the leaf bases) give you dietary fibre, Vitamin B6 and C, to name some of their benefits. We looked up ideas online and found a recipe of red lentil soup with turnip and parsley on the website of Martha Stewart, which became our inspiration. The main difference is that we don't use as much of the lentils in ours and we use canned plum tomatoes instead of raw tomatoes. We have been preparing this soup on the colder days in January.


1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 celery sticks
1 turnip
1 can (400 g) plum tomatoes (14 oz)
1250 ml water (5 cups)
60 g / 75 ml red lentils (¼ cup)
a pinch of ground cumin
a pinch of smoked paprika
1 small bay leaf
½-1 teaspoon coarse sea/Himalayan salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Modena balsamic vinegar
75 ml finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (scant ⅓ cup)

Start with preparing the vegetables. Peel and chop the onion. Trim and finely slice the celery sticks. Peel the cloves of garlic, finely slice one and press the other two when added to the saucepan. Peel and dice the turnip and set it aside.

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until tender, gently stirring.

Increase the heat to high and add the plum tomatoes with juice, red lentils (rinse them first), diced turnip and water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, add ½ teaspoon of salt, a handful of chopped parsley and black pepper. Allow to simmer for 25 minutes.

Towards the end, stir in Modena balsamic vinegar, the rest of the parsley, and add more salt if needed. For extra comfort, serve with home-made bread or bread buns.

Uppskrift á íslensku.

The recent Instagram photo that sparked this blog entry

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