This is about the most comforting of all soups in the colder months and is a meal in itself. A damper is what the swagmen used to make on camp fires in Australia and what I make when there is no bread in the house but there is self raising flour.
This soup can be vegan, vegetarian or neither and all options are good and set out. if adding chorizo, this will give it a really good kick.
As for the ingredients, these are also not set in stone and you can pretty much use whatever vegetables you have. The root vegetables though add texture.
For the Soup
1/2 small butternut squash
2 large sticks celery
about 150g kale
3 cloves of garlic
1 tin butter beans
handful of rice (about 1/2 cup)
rind of some parmesan or other cheese, if any going and if not vegan
about a third of a chorizo – skin removed and finely diced and only if no vegetarians or vegans to feed
2 small pears
2 cubes stock
salt and pepper
For the damper
250g self raising flour
1 cup of milk
water if needed
Peel and chop the root vegetables and celery into 1-2cm cubes and gently saute with the onion. After a few minutes the garlic. Add the kale and everything else and let the whole thing simmer ideally for at least an hour. Season and eat with some hot steaming damper.
Turn the oven on to 220c for the damper….which you can make as the soup cooks. Grate the cold butter into the salted flour and rub until the butter becomes more like breadcrumbs. Add the milk and enough water to make the dough manageable (not too sticky and not too firm) and work into a flat circle. Make a cross across the top with a knife, brush with a little milk or water and bake for 30 minutes. You might want to turn the oven down to about 175 for the last ten minutes or so and the damper should sound sort of hollow when tapped.
Take it out of the oven and break it apart before eating it steaming hot with olive oil or butter. My mouth is watering just typing this.