Pea and Ham Soup and Caaaake

More Soup Shenanigans in the treehugger household today. I always loved Pea and Ham soup in my pregan days and I've been dreaming about re-creating this recipe and, naturally, veganising it. It didn't disappoint. Pea and Ham Soup serves 4 Ingredients Half a Pint (550ml) of Dried Marrowfat Peas 3 Pints of Water 2 Medium Potatoes, peeled and sliced 1 Leek, trimmed and washed 2 Rashers of your favourite Vegan Bacon, diced 2 Bay Leaves Salt Freshly Ground Black Pepper Method Soak the peas in the water in a big pan for 12 hours. Strain the peas reserving the water and then rinse the peas thoroughly with cold water. Place back in the pan with the strained water, add the 2 Bay Leaves and bring to a boil with the lid on. Boil for one and a half hours - stir regularly. Add the sliced Potato, Leek and half the Bacon. Simmer for another 30 mins with the lid off, stir regularly. Check that the Peas are cooked - they should be soft and squishy but still retain their shape. remove the Bay Leaves and leave to cool. When cool - place the contents in your food blender and blend until smooth. Transfer back to the saucepan.Add the remaining Bacon and season to taste. I found it needs quite a lot of salt but add it gradually as it is easier to add more than it is to take away. This soup will be very thick - it's one of it's characteristics. However, if you want it to be thinner just add some Vegetable Stock until you get the consistency you're after. Heat through and serve. Yum!
Before my vegan days I used to love baking, well...I still love baking it's just that I haven't done enough vegan baking to be confident at the results I will get. There's been a few hits and misses. Tonight I felt brave enough to have a go at veganising a Farmhouse Cake recipe that I used to make frequently in my pre-vegan days. And Oh my Lordy Lord! The success of this has given me a kick up the pants to try and veganise some more of my pregan favourites. This cake is delicious! It is light and fruity and caramelly and just....ahh ...wonderful. Farmhouse Cake Ingredients 1 cup Wholemeal Flour 1 cup Plain Flour 1/2 cup Sultanas 1/2 cup Dried Prunes, chopped up 1 tsp Mixed Spice 1 tsp Cinnamon 1/4 cup Sugar 1/4 cup Gooseberry Jam 1 cup Soya Milk 2 tsp Vanilla Extract 1 Tblsp Maple Syrup (plus more for drizzling) 200ml Canola Oil 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda 1/2 tsp salt Golden Granulated Sugar to sprinkle on top Method Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the Flour, Bicarb, Fruit, Sugar, Cinnamon, Mixed Spice and Salt. In another large bowl whisk together Soya Milk, Vanilla, Maple Syrup, Jam and Oil. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dried and mix until combined. Thoroughly grease a cake pan 9 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep (if it's any smaller or deeper you will have to adjust cooking times) and pour in the cake mixture. Bake for 60 minutes in the middle of the oven. My oven's rubbish so I had to put a layer of tin foil over the top after 20 mins otherwise it would have burnt to a crisp! Just keep an eye on yours to make sure this doesn't happen. Take the cake out the tin by placing a flat plate over the top of the tin and inverting the whole thing over - then transfer the cake to a wire cooling rack. I drizzled over some Maple Syrup whilst it was still hot and was then going to sprinkle on some Golden Granulated Sugar - but I'd ran out. DOH! Anyway.....Mmmmmm...caaaaaaaake..........

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