Herb and almond soup with cheese muffin loaf
- June 2016
- Serves 4-6 as a lunch or light supper.
- Hands-on time 1 hour, oven time 65-70 min
Enjoy this light almond and fresh herb soup chilled or gently heated and soak it up with a slice of cheesy muffin loaf.
Our ultimate cheese scones would also make a delicious partner for this summer soup.
- 56g (14.7g saturated)
- 62.3g (7.7g sugars)
- 150g long grain rice, well rinsed in cold running water
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 litre fresh vegetable stock
- 200g ground almonds
- 20g fresh tarragon
- 100g fresh mint
- 100g fresh flatleaf parsley
- 100g fresh basil
- 450ml full-fat greek yogurt
- 75ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- Juice 1 lemon
- Handful chopped, mixed fresh herbs to serve
For the cheesy muffin loaf
- 170ml sunflower oil
- 1 large free-range egg
- 284ml carton buttermilk
- 70ml milk
- 500g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp English mustard powder
- Large pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 150g mature cheddar, grated
- 6 spring onions, finely sliced
- 200g feta, crumbled
You’ll also need
- 900g wide loaf tin greased with oil, lined with a long strip of baking paper that overhangs the tin at either end, to help lift out the loaf once baked
- To make the muffin loaf, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Mix together the sunflower oil, egg, buttermilk and milk in a large jug. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, mustard powder, cayenne and salt, then mix in most of the grated cheddar and spring onions using a palette knife.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, along with the feta. Mix with the palette knife just enough to combine (don’t overmix). Tip the mixture into the tin, top with the rest of the cheese and bake for 65-70 minutes until golden on top and a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. (Cover with foil once the top turns golden, to prevent it browning too much.) Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the soup, cook the rice and garlic in a large pan of lightly salted simmering water for around 20 minutes. The rice should be very soft. Drain the rice and garlic in a sieve and rinse well with cold running water, then return to the pan.
- Add the stock, ground almonds and 200ml water to the rice, then put over a medium heat until steaming (don’t let it boil). Stir in the whole herbs, yogurt and oil, then remove from the heat and whizz with a stick blender until smooth (or transfer to a jug blender for extra-smooth results). Taste, then adjust the seasoning and stir in the lemon juice. Cool a little and eat warm, or cool completely and chill. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter with ground black pepper and extra chopped fresh herbs, then serve with the loaf.
If your herbs have tough ends, trim them before adding to the soup in step 4. Chicken stock works well here too, for a non-vegetarian meal.
Make the soup the night before; chill, covered, then either serve chilled or heat gently to warm through first. Don’t overheat the soup or it will lose its colour. The bread is best made and eaten on the day.
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