Pea soup and tea brack - from British fields

 Above: Instant GF & DF pea soup

Hodmedod's is an up-and-coming name in the wholefoods world and rightly so. If you’ve not come across the brand before, it is based in Suffolk and works with British farmers to create a range of pulses and grains – some tinned, some dried, some salted as snacks, and some milled (like the ones I was sent to try out).

I love the packaging – retro brown paper bags, arty labels and a few suggestions for use as well. These came in handy. The quinoa flour, fava bean flour and yellow and green pea flours were undeniably pretty, but what would they actually be good for, I wondered?  They are all gluten-free, so I did a few initial taste tests and decided to experiment with the fava bean and quinoa flours to make a classic from my mother’s kitchen – tea brack.

It’s the simplest cake ever: 1 mug of strong tea, 1 mug of raisins, ½ mug of sugar, 2 mugs of self-raising flour and an egg. I made two versions, one where I replaced the flour with fava bean, the other with quinoa. The results were baked, sliced and spread with butter… I can report that the ‘bean’ flavour of fava beans does not make it the best choice. The quinoa worked really well though – and to think that the healthy benefits of quinoa can be enjoyed mid-morning in a cake made it especially exciting.

The yellow pea flour and fava bean flour would make good gram flour substitutes, and I have a fab chocolate cake that they could be tried in (see here). But the green pea flour got me scratching my head a little more. It really is very green, and the pea flavour is pretty obvious. Luckily there were some suggestions on the pack – pancakes and soup. Yes, yes, I thought… I can see that you could add an egg and some milk, whip up some savoury pancakes and serve with eg. smoked salmon, sour cream and chives, lovely. But what of the soup…?

A few experiments later and I managed to create a fab alternative to a Cup-a-Soup for those days when you need something instant (and frankly, who doesn’t?). I’d happily have a stash of this in my cupboard and in fact I have just enjoyed some of it for lunch. Virtue and convenience… who can resist it?

Gluten-free, dairy-free tea brack

Serve sliced with butter or margarine, best eaten in the first couple of days.

1 mug of strong tea (cold)

1 mug of raisins

½ mug granulated sugar

2 mugs quinoa flour

1 egg

2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 160C, then oil a loaf tin with a little sunflower oil. Stir all the ingredients together until you have smooth batter and pour it into the loaf tin. Bake for 30 minutes until risen and golden. Leave to cool in the tin.

Dairy-free, gluten-free instant pea soup

2 tbsp green pea flour

½ tsp gluten-free and vegan vegetable stock powder

1 tsp humous (optional, but gives a creamier result)

approx. 300ml boiling water

Place the green pea flour, stock powder and hummous in a mug. Gradually stir in boiling water, taking care not to get lumps. Wait a minute while the soup thickens and the flour absorbs the moisture. Stir again…. You’re done!


Recipes about gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, alcohol-free and vegan cooking.

By the way - don't forget to ask all your guests if they have an allergy (because the recipes use some unusual combinations and they may not expect to find citrus and soya in a chocolate cake, for example).
pps.if you are cooking for someone with an allergy, please read my allergy post first.