Tag Archives: jamie oliver

Monday Made – Spicy Lentil Soup with Pancetta


“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.”~Abraham Maslow

This was probably the most popular item on the menu for our Food Revolution Day event held a few weeks ago. The competition was pretty stiff, I mean up against Irish Soda Bread or Venetian Carrot Cake, a lentil soup doesn’t seem like it has a chance!

But on a cold day, nothing really hits the spot like Tae’s soup…..

For this soup, red lentils are used as they cook faster. Tae also recommends a tin of cherry tomatoes because they are generally sweeter. If you can’t find them and think your soup is a little tart, add a couple of tsp of sugar.

Nutritionally speaking, this soup is great. Lentils are low GI, protein packed pulses that are a gazillion times better than putting pasta in your soup! It turns out that tomatoes actually improve nutritionally through cooking (must be one of the very few  vegetables that do)! This entire pot of soup adds up to 1000cal, so if  you even just had 4 GIANT servings from it, you are doing very well on the calorific in-take.

What you need:

  • 130g pancetta (about 3 thick slices)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stick, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 400g can cherry tomato
  • 800g can diced tomato
  • Pinch of chilli flakes

What to do:

  1. Chop the pancetta into small cubes and fry it in a large pot until the fat renders.
  2. Add the onion and cook until tender, then the celery, garlic, chilli and carrot and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Put in the stock and tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the lentil and let simmer until they are tender.
  5. Serve with a really nice sourdough bread.

Venetian Carrot Cake – Monday Made


“How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?”~Paul Sweeney

This is the second post following up from our Food Revolution Day event.

The Irish Soda bread was simple, wholesome and very comforting. This recipe continues the theme of comforting winter food!

I really love carrot cake. I probably love the cream cheese frosting that is usually generously slathered on top, but this one doesn’t have that and was in no way less of a masterpiece because of it. It’s gluten-free which is great. It is also not just another carrot cake recipe. It has really distinct flavours. I have really come to enjoy tasting olive oil in cakes. The toasted pine nuts on top are pure joy.

Listening to Kate’s Irish accent as she made it was also pure joy.

It is definitely best eaten straight out of the oven while still warm and with a little bit of rum mixed with mascarpone!

What you need:

  • 2 medium carrots, grated (approx 200g)
  • 75g sultanas
  • 60ml rum
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 lemon- zest & juice
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 180degC. Grease and line a 23cm tin.
  2. Make sure the extra liquid is drained away from the carrots by sitting them on paper towel for a few minutes
  3. Place the sultanas and rum in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes
  4. In a blender, mix the sugar, olive oil, eggs and vanilla until pale.
  5. Fold in the almond meal, sultanas (and any rum), carrots, lemon zest and juice.
  6. Put the mixture into the tin and then sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the top.
  7. Bake for 30-40mins. Check with a skewer to see if the centre is cooked.
  8. Cool for about 10 minutes and serve with a dollop of mascarpone.

Irish Soda Bread – Monday Made


“Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king. The countries are the soup, the meat, the vegetables and the salad. But bread is king.”~Louis Bromfield

On Saturday I hosted, in my home, a sort of food workshop for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day. Twas a grand little scheme concocted mostly by my friend, Tae.

Irish Soda Bread

It involved about twenty or so people coming up from Melbourne to my home in the country, watching a few different people cook and explain some food and then eating it for lunch/dinner (gotta work on the combo work for that- Linner? Dunch?).

I’m going to slowly post the recipes we cooked that day up here. The first of which is the Irish soda bread made by Marcus. It’s a family recipe handed down. So, as with most family recipes, it’s more heart and soul than strict measurements.

The first little note I need to make here was that he brought his own measuring cup which wasn’t a cup at all, but a large coffee mug!! He left it at my house (possibly forgotten or perhaps a little gift to help me along with my own bread making?). For interests sake, I measured the volume of the mug and it actually contains 1 1/3 cups-ish. To avoid confusion, I will write out the recipe with metric cup measurements.

Marcus said that this bread was best eaten with LASHINGS of cream cheese. Or maybe a bit of butter and apricot jam. Personally, I liked it with just a bit of butter and maybe dunked in a hearty soup. It tasted divine.

What I like about this bread is that it is quick. It doesn’t contain yeast so there is no rising time. Also, having no yeast means you can freeze the uncooked dough! WINNER!!

Irish Soda Bread

What you need:

  • 1 1/3 cups bran
  • 2 2/3 cups bakers’ flour (or plain flour…but bakers’ is best)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 400-500ml buttermilk

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degC.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the buttermilk 30 ml, kneading the mixture with your hands until you have a moist ball
  4. On a floured bench, knead the mixture by folding it in half on itself about 10-20 times. Sprinkle in extra bits of flour until becomes a nice, non-sticky dough.
  5. Shape in to a large ball and then flatten it a bit. You dough should be a bit larger than you can put two hands around. Score the surface with a knife so there is a big X across the whole loaf (this helps with cooking the middle).
  6. Cook in the oven at 200 degC for 10mins, then reduce heat to 180 for about 35 minutes. To check if your bread is cooked, tap it of the bottom. If you get a hollow sound it is ready!