Smoked Cheddar, Roasted Garlic & Leek Biscuits with Carrot & Lentil Soup

Two Things.

1. One of the things I love about baking (and people think I am a little weird for this) is that it’s a science and balancing act. Once you have a good base recipe, you can tweak it with other flavours and as long as you keep everything balanced it will work.

2. These would probably be called scones but in America they might be called biscuits. My reason for calling them biscuits is that to me scones need to be cut and these were rolled into balls. You can call them scones if you like but if you insist on calling them scones I would really prefer you to say scone as in gone not scone as in tone but obviously I can’t police this, so call them whatever you like – I’m not the boss of you!

So the origin of these biscuits were the Feta & Sour Cream ones I mentioned recently from Joy the Baker, I made a Chive & Goats Cheese version which I blogged last week and now I’m bringing you these. Some would argue that I’m getting a little bit obsessed with cheesy, flakey, buttery goodness and they would be right. I’m also obsessed with Joy (but this is no secret) and used her method for Roasting garlic. I’m also obsessed with Smoked Cheddar at the moment – one of my TOP TIPS for healthy eating is not to buy lighter versions of cheese but buy a strong flavoured one and then you will use less, like a smoked cheddar or parmesan.

The sweetness of the garlic, with the leeks and then the smokey-ness of the cheddar is a marriage made in heaven. I thought I was a bit of a genius when this combination popped into my head and not wanting to blow my trumpet too much – BUT BOY OH BOY, these are good.

Because I’m so thankful for all your support I’m giving you not one but two recipes in this post. The biscuits were created by me but the soup was stolen from the pages of a River Cottage cookbook. It’s very simple, very cheap and also low in points – so very handy to have in your repertoire. I’m sure Hugh won’t be too upset with me for sharing it with you.

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Smoked Cheddar, Roasted Garlic & Leek Biscuits
makes 27 biscuits
Weight Watchers – 3pp each

1 bulb of roasted garlic – recipe here

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1 leek – halved & sliced
5g unsalted butter & a dash of oil (to stop the butter from burning)

330g / 11oz plain flour
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
170g / 6oz unsalted butter – chilled & cubed
1 large egg
180g half-fat creme fraiche
90g / 3oz smoked cheddar – coarsely grated

to top – milk, sea salt, black pepper

In a frying pan, on a low heat melt the butter with a tiny dash of oil.

Add the leeks and gently cook for up to 30 minutes, until they are soft and slightly coloured. Place to one side.

Preheat the oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas mark 6 and line two trays

In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda, salt & pepper, thyme.

Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingers, until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs.

Squeeze out each clove of garlic from its skin and mash with the back of a fork, combine with the egg and creme fraiche, add to the flour mix.

Also add the cheddar and mix together to form a scraggy looking dough, lightly knead until it comes together – about 10 to 15 turns.

Pinch off small balls – I weighed mine but not too precisely, they weighed between 30 & 35 grams. Roll them into balls and pop on the lined baking tray, roughly an inch apart.

Squash them down with the back of a fork and brush with a little milk.

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Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden.

Place on a cooling rack and serve with… (my links are as flawless as lovely Susanna Reid’s)

Carrot & Lentil Soup
adapted from River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook
serves 4
Weight Watchers – 3pp

1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 onion – roughly chopped
1 garlic clove – sliced
1 celery stick – roughly chopped
500g / 1.2lbs carrots – roughly chopped
75g / 2.5oz red lentils
500ml vegetable stock
seasoning

In a large pan gently heat the oil, onion, garlic, celery and carrots – until softened and lightened in colour (about 10 minutes or so) Stirring occasionally.

Add the lentils and stock, the stock should cover the vegetables – if it doesn’t add more water.

Bring to the boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes.

Blitz the soup and then add more boiled water until it’s the thickness that suits you.

Season.

Eat.

I topped mine with more pepper, some dried parsley, dollop of creme fraiche and a handful of rocket leaves.

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4 responses to “Smoked Cheddar, Roasted Garlic & Leek Biscuits with Carrot & Lentil Soup

  1. I made your chive & goats cheese scones the day after we had lunch with you, they were delicious. (I did tweak the recipe a little but you’ll agree that’s what all cooks do!) I froze some of them & we’ll have more on Monday & I shall try your soup to go with them, it sounds good. (Any one who reads this will guess I’m Roswen’s mum, but I am not biased, she is an excellent cook)

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