Saturday, August 21, 2010


I planted a tiny cutting of rosemary a year or so ago and it's grown into a lovely shrub.  It doesn't require much watering or care.  I haven't used it in cooking a lot though - just occasionally when I roast vegies.  It does go well with potatoes so I thought I'd hunt out a couple of recipes this week and make use if it.  I made a potato and leek soup and accompanied it with some home-made rosemary bread.  I haven't made much bread before - in fact I don't think I've made bread since I had kids!  But it's not so time consuming and this bread was definitely a success getting the thumbs up from all the family.  Littlest monkey couldn't stop yum-yumming throughout dinner and even Monkey Man who doesn't really care for food gave it a 10/10.   It was supposed to be flat bread, but as you can see from the photo it was more like a foccaccia.  Next time I need to use a rolling pin and flatten it out more before cooking.  I consulted all my cooking books and the internet but they all tended to say different things about how long to let it rest for.  In the end I decided to follow my Middle Eastern cookbook because that said to let it prove for at least 2 hours - and I was taking the kids to a play centre so that suited me fine.  (The weather has been so grim I felt the need to let the little monkeys run out some energy).  I make soup all the time in Winter and just make do with what I have rather than follow recipes, so this is what I did.

Potato and Leek Soup
1  leek (chopped and cleaned well)
1 onion (chopped)
2 sticks of celery (chopped)
6-8 potatoes (peeled and roughly chopped)
veggie stock or cubes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups milk 
sprinkling of parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in soup pot and cook leek and onion slowly for about 10 minutes until very soft.  Add celery, potatoes, bay leaf, rosemary and enough stock to cover the potatoes.  Simmer gently until the veggies are very soft.  Using a stick blender, blend everything until there are no more lumps.  Add the milk and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Gently heat before serving and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Rosemary Flat Bread
Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East, Arto Der Haroutunian

8g (1 sachet) dried yeast
300ml tepid water
pinch of sugar
450g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chopped rosemary

Dissolve yeast in 3-4 tbs water.  Stir in pinch of sugar and leave in a warm place for 10-15 mins until it becomes frothy.  
Sift flour and salt into a warmed mixing bowl.  Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture.  Add enough tepid water to make a firm but not hard dough. 
Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough for about 15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic and no longer sticks to your hands.  Add 1 tbs oil to make a softer dough.
Oil a clean mixing bowl and rub the dough round the bowl until it is covered with a film of oil to prevent the dough going crusty while rising.  Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
Punch it down and knead it again for a few minutes.  Divide the mixture into 6-8 pieces and roll them into balls.  Flatten each one to about 6mm thick.  Dust them with flour and cover with a cloth.  Leave to rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.  
Preheat the oven to 230-240ºC putting in two large oiled baking sheets halfway through the heating period.  When the oven is ready, slide the rounds of dough onto the hot baking sheets, dampening the tops to prevent them browning and bake for 10 minutes.  Don't open the door during this time.  Put them on wire racks to cool when removed from the oven.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I'm a new follower and am glad I came across your blog! I'm also a vegetarian and have been enjoying reading through your recipes! This one looks yummy!


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