Catherine visits a couple in Clonegal, Co Carlow, who grow their own produce to sell at the local farmer's market in Enniscorthy.

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 onion
  • 3 leeks
  • 1 potato large (preferably ‘Golden Wonder’ but any will do)
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 2 handfuls of freshly cut nettle tops 
  • Pepper to taste

Brown Bread:

  • 250g strong white flour
  • half a tsp salt
  • half a tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bread soda
  • 250g Hearts Delight wheaten meal flour
  • 2 handful wheat bran
  • 1 handful wheat germ
  • 1 handful oat bran
  • 1 handful pinhead oatmeal
  • 450ml buttermilk

Method

Soup:

  1. Steep the nettles in salted water and then chop the leeks, potato and onions.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil and knob of butter in saucepan.
  3. Add chopped onion, potato & leeks.
  4. Sweat over low heat covered with grease proof paper for 8 to 10 mins, stirring frequently adding a little water if vegetables become dry.
  5. When vegetables are well sweated add 750 ml vegetable stock.
  6. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 mins.
  7. Add washed nettle tops and cook for a further 5 to 7 mins until nettles are soft.
  8. Liquidize and serve adding pepper to taste.

Brown Bread:

  1. Mix white flour, wheaten meal flour, salt, bread soda, baking powder together and sieve well into bowl.
  2. Add wheat bran, wheat germ, oat bran, pinhead oatmeal and mix well together lifting up to incorporate air to mixture.
  3. Make a well in the centre and add most of buttermilk, approx 450 ml mixing by hand.
  4. Work quickly and form into round loaf shape.
  5. Place on heated baking tray.
  6. Place a cross on loaf and cook in preheated oven at Gas Mark 7, 220°C (425°F) for 40 mins.
  7. Turn loaf over and cook for further 5 mins.
  8. Loaf will be hollow in sound when tapped.