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Yesterday’s lunch- this weather definitely calls for winter food and this is a really easy and delicious meal. You can put anything in the soup– any old root vegetables that are looking a bit tired (I used parsnip and sweet potato) and I actually added some leftover cooked broccoli at the end too. Equally, you can use any kind of lentil, pea, pulse or bean.

Soda bread has always been a favourite of mine and I was extremely lucky when a very lovely friend brought me back two kilos of special Odlums flour from Ireland, so mine is the genuine article, but you can use 200g wholemeal flour and add 50g wheatgerm for a similar effect. I’ve never used buttermilk because it’s quite hard to find, but milk and lemon juice work just as well.




1 – 1 ½ onion, chopped finely

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp butter

Chopped chorizo

2 pints stock (chicken, vegetable, beef – your call)

Peeled and chopped root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, turnips…)

2 cups lentils, split peas and/or yellow peas, rinsed


Start to fry up the onion in the oil and butter, then add the chorizo and cook for a few minutes before adding the stock and then the vegetables


and then the peas/lentils. Cover and cook on a medium-low heat for 40-50 mins, stirring occasionally.


Soda Bread

200g plain flour

250g coarse wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp baking soda

About 350ml buttermilk (or plain yoghurt, or milk with 2 tbs lemon juice stirred in and left for 10mins)

Preheat the oven to 220C. Combine the flours, baking soda and salt.


Add the liquid bit by bit, using a blunt knife or your hands to combine to a rough dough.


Turn out onto a floured baking tray, shape into a round about 3-4cm thick and dust with flour and score with a cross.


Bake for 30-35 mins, or until the base sounds hollow when tapped.