The calendar says it's spring but the weather isn't quite cooperating so warming soups and homemade bread are still on the menu. I'm cooking from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book River Cottage Everyday this month for Cookbook Countdown so that was the first place I looked for something new to make. This book is very much about everyday cooking with recipes that often rely on ingredients from your dry and refrigerator pantries. The Lentil Soup with Caraway and Minted Yoghurt was one of them.
Made with red lentils, onions, garlic and carrots and spiced with toasted coriander and caraway seeds, the soup was smooth and creamy and had a lot of flavour but I found the caraway a bit strong. I think I would have preferred cumin here instead. I opted for a hot chile oil garnish instead of the yogurt topping and added some lemon juice to brighten the flavours. If I were to make this again, I would change the spices and add some chiles directly to the soup for a little heat. I think it would be fabulous then with the mint yogurt.
I did love the Parsnip and Thyme Bread I served it with. It was a dense loaf that had the really lovely complementary
flavours of parsnip, thyme and Parmesan cheese.
I replaced the self-raising flour with all-purpose flour and some baking powder so my substitution may have affected the density but it was so moist and delicious, it didn't matter. Unlike some baked goods where the vegetable ingredient is masked by others, the parsnip was a strong and obvious presence, sweet and earthy....for parsnip lovers only.
I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray. Stop by to see what everyone else is cooking.