kumara soup & basil bannock

Today was one of those days.

My dad calls is Sunday-itis. It only seems to hit on Sundays… Jesse-free Sundays especially.

I bet you know the type of day. It can’t just be my family that is prone to being swamped with this odd feeling every so often, around midday Sunday.

It’s a day that starts out good. Until the snooze button gets thumped, twice. The baking tin is visited more times than considered appropriate. Far too long is spent perfecting the plum tarts for this afternoon’s get together. Skype has a hissy-fit. Facebook get more attention than the dirty dishes. Photos of the nephew are coo-ed over until the only appeal is to jump on a plane back to New Zealand. Certainly not go for today’s run. And, pah! Cleaning? Not going to happen.

And then the craving hits, this time not for a sweet treat, but for people, for family, for thought-provoking words and perhaps some soul inspiring music.

And something warm and comforting, like soup and bread.

Ah, soup and bread. The answer to homesickness, and perhaps the cure for Sunday-itis.

Or does it just make me crave the comfort of Mum’s pumpkin soup, the smell of Dad’s daily baked bread..

A variation on both of those, two of my favorite things, this soup and bread can resurrect any day – Sunday, Jesse-free or not. Both soup and bread fall into that ‘time consuming’ category, to be prepared on the morning of a cold winter’s day.

But this time, fear not, these are cheats versions (in time, not flavor nor goodness!), taking all of half an hour from prep to consumption.

Kumara Soup with Basil Bannock
Soup recipe adapted from Joy The Baker
Serves 2

I call this kumara soup because, well I am a New Zealander. And we’re keeping it real here. Kumara is the native (to New Zealand) name for sweet potato. For Canadians, this can be replaced with, yes, sweet potato, or what you call yams (and we call ‘the other kumara of a different colour’). These buns are based on the native (to Canada) bannock, a very light bread – I guess like damper that we used to cook over firepits at school camps – simply made with flour, baking powder and water. I added some salt, basil and garlic for interest. Seeming as this meal has the role of curing Sunday-itis and all.

Kumara Soup:

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tsp chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
dash ground cardamom
sprinkle red pepper flakes (or chili powder), optional
2 medium kumara, peeled and chopped into small cubes
2 cups chicken/vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste
pumpkin seeds (toasted in the oven along with the bannock)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until the onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and spiced, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the sweet potatoes and broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Puree the soup, in a blender or food processor. Season to taste., ladle into bowls and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Basil Bannock:

1/2 clove garlic, diced and minced
handful chopped basil
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 water (or more as needed)

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Mix together ingredients and lightly knead until soft. Form dough into desired shapes. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped.

Alternatively, fry in a shallow pan of oil/butter until crisp and cooked through (as is traditional!)

6 thoughts

  1. I totally just had one of those sundays too – full on sunday-itis from about 1-5pm! I baked moustache shaped cookies though, followed by a nice long soul inspiring music sesh. Maybe next time I’ll go for the kumara soup and bannock, it looks so good and totally do-able for a sunday afternoon :)

  2. Even though the thought of soup right now is making me sweat (it’s been blazing hot here all weekend), this sounds so good! I definitely have to bookmark for later, cooler months. The bannock, however, makes me think of summer. I remember baking bannock over the fire-pit at Brownie camp, except I’m pretty sure the bannock was just Bisquik mix and water. Yours looks much better!

  3. Mmm… I could SO go for some of this right now!! The basil bannock is a neat concept. I’ve only ever cooked bannock over a campfire, wrapped around a stick. But I suppose it’s probably pretty versatile! Thanks for this, Christina! :)

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