Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Corn and Split-Pea Soup with Feta with Tomato Damper

Corn and Split-Pea Soup with Feta with Tomato Damper
Home Cooking

In continuation from the story of "Why I should never bake on my lunchbreak", I will now present the sequel: "Why I shouldn't cook ANYTHING on my lunchbreak", which could be simplified to "I suck at life".

I just had the most hilariously, chaotic and unruly day of my existance. I can't back that up with evidence but however accurate/inaccurate that statement may be, today has been rediculous.

I've caught something. I've been inflicted with the comic equivalent of Murphy's Law. I hope it's not contagious or my heart goes out for those I've come in contact with today.

Today's story starts with an hour and half break during work. Last week I picked up a copy of Masterchef Magazine and found a recipe in the 30 minute meal section for corn and split-pea soup.

My first 'incident' was spilling the yellow split peas all over the floor. I had already started frying the onions so I was multitasking, vacuuming and stirring at the same time.

The next stupid thing I did was try to blend my soup in my horrible, tiny, old food processor. I just bought a brand spanking new food processor the other day but I thought it was a waste blending soup with it so I used the old one. Which, apparently, unbeknown to me wasn't watertight. Or was broken. Or something. The end result was hot soup squirting all over the bench, onto the floor (which I had just vacuumed) and of course, my face got a lashing too.

My final casualty of the day was a gash on my palm from my food processor blade. After a mad scramble to slap on a bandaid, I was in a rush back to work and ended up heading out the door in my trackies (which I change into at home so I don't get food slop on my work pants). Yup, I finished my day at work in my track pants, hiding in my chair and hoping no one would notice.

At least dinner was ready for me when I got home!

Note: I halved the original recipe, which is supposed to serve between 6-8. My halved serving was roughly enough for 2. Maybe I have an extra large appetite? You be the judge. Below is MY version, which I think is enough for 2.

Corn and Split-Pea Soup with Feta with Tomato Damper
Serves 2


For the soup
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g (1/2 cup) yellow split peas
  • 1 tsp smoke paprika
  • 250g frozen corn kernels
  • 20g butter
  • 1 green chili, thinly sliced
For the damper
  • 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125g (1/2 cup or 1/2 can) chopped canned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 70g feta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius.
2. Roughly chop the onion and garlic. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until the onions have softened.
3. Rinse the peas and add to the pan with the paprika and corn. Cook, whilst stirring for another 5 minutes or until the corn has thawed.
4. Add about 700ml boiling water. Bring it up to the boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, parially covered with a lid for about 15 minutes or until the peas are tender.
5. Meanwhile, to make the damper, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the tomatoes and olive oil.
6. Using a knife, combine the ingredients with a cutting action until the mxiture just comes together. It should still be a bit wet and sticky.
7. Using floured hands, divide the mixture into 4 balls and place next to each other on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten them gently, use a knife to mark a cross on each ball and crumble some feta over the top.
8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until risen and lightly brown.
9. Once the peas in the soup are tender, add butter and use a stick blender to blend until smooth. Season and if necessary, thin with extra water.
10. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with remaining feta and sliced chilis. Drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil. Serve immediately with the feta and tomato damper.

I don't know why this is counted as a 30 minute recipe. The yellow split peas take much longer than 15 minutes that to soften. Mine simmered for close to 30 minutes and I still think it should've stayed there for longer.

The soup was very simple and hearty without being too thick or rich. I like winter warming soups that aren't necessarily full of cream. The soup on its own is boring... it really needs the feta topping for some oomph.

What I REALLY loved was the tomato damper, which is basically like tomato scones. The texture was soft, light and slightly doughy like a scone anyway. They were an absolute cinch to make AND you get to play with pink dough when you make them.

I wouldn't say they were flavor packed but I think they're bland in a 'versatile' way, rather than a 'boring' way. Like the savory version of plain scones. They would make a great accompaniment to many dishes or even just as a snack on their own. I can imagine these warm with a bit of cream cheese or sour cream and sweet chili. Yum.

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