This easy soda bread is naturally green from… kale! The herb soda bread is quick and easy with no yeast and no kneading. It’s a quick bread that’s perfect alongside soup or toasted with butter.
Recipe commissioned by Discover Great Veg.
Growing up with Irish parents, we often had a fresh loaf of soda bread on the counter. Bread making is easy, but can be a bit time consuming. So that’s where soda bread comes in handy. It’s no-yeast and no-knead, so you can have it ready in just 40 minutes.
This recipe is based on my mum’s tried and tested soda bread recipe. She has it on a weathered old card and has used it for decades. I can close my eyes and picture that hand written recipe, which instantly reminds me of the smell of her freshly baked soda loaf.
My sisters and I have all copied it out and have made it our own. It’s a hand-me-down recipe that has never failed any of us.
But my love of tweaking recipes and adding veg to any recipe I can, means I’ve put my own twist on it this time. I’ve added loads of nutritious and versatile kale, plus a generous few spoonfuls of fragrant dried herbs. The result is a vibrantly green, soft and flavourful soda bread.
Kale Herb Soda Bread
This kale herb soda bread is bright green, though the flavour of the kale fades away, leaving colour, moistness and a bit of that green goodness. The mixed herbs give it a fragrance and flavour that’s perfect within the soft crumb and gentle crust.
This bread is best eaten on the same day, but it will keep for up to two days wrapped in a bread bin. The kale adds extra moistness to the loaf, so it doesn’t dry out as fast as other soda breads. On day two it’s lovely lightly toasted, with butter melting into the pretty green bread.
Make this a very green meal by serving alongside kale soup , or serve it with an Irish stew or my kale and ale stew. You could even finish with kale apple cake or kale cupcakes with orange frosting for a real kale-tastic three course meal.
Kale most certainly is versatile, as well as healthy and nutritious. I always feel that if you start with some great veg, then you’ll be amazed at what you can create.
Discover Great Veg
I’m working with Discover Great Veg again to help showcase how versatile, healthy and delicious kale can be. They love veg, I love veg, it’s pretty much a match made in heaven, right?
Last year I worked with them to bring you spinach lemon doughnuts with lemon glaze, and I now have a series of creative veg recipes that will soon be on their site. Keep your eyes on the Discover Great Veg site for the recipes and to discover everything you need to know about Great Veg, from how they are grown to delicious ways to enjoy them and what they each offer as part of a healthy balanced diet. Their hero vegetables are cavolo nero, kale, leeks and spinach.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as containing useful amounts of manganese, copper and phytochemicals, which are believed to help against certain types of cancer. It is also rich in lutein, an antioxidant that can help keep eyes healthy.
In addition, in a portion of cooked kale (80g) there is 120mg of calcium; 69µg of folate and 2.2g of fibre. It is of course virtually fat free too and in every portion, there is just 19kcals. – Discover Great Veg
How to make Kale Herb Soda Bread
Dried mixed herbs
Bicarb of soda (baking soda)
Buttermilk (or milk with vinegar or lemon juice)
Puree the kale with a hand blender. If necessary, add some of the buttermilk to aid pureeing.
After mixing the dough together, pat it into a round, cut a cross across the top and bake.
- Soda bread is best, when eaten on the same day
- To store for up to two days, wrap the soda bread in a tea towel and keep in a bread bin at room temperature.
- Don’t overwork the dough or it will become tough. Just gently pat it into shape.
- Make it vegan: use non-dairy milk soured with 1 tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar in place of the buttermilk
- Make it gluten-free: use gluten-free plain flour
- This is a no knead, no yeast, quick bread recipe.
- Kale is fibrous, so can be a little difficult to puree. If necessary, just add in a little of the buttermilk to make it easier.
Kale Herb Soda Bread
- 150 g kale leaves woody stalks discarded
- 400 g plain flour (all purpose), plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp dried mixed herbs (such as oregano, basil and thyme)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 300 ml buttermilk or 300ml milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice stirred in and left to sit for 5 mins
- Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and grease a baking sheet with a little oil or line it with baking paper.
- Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and boil or steam them for a few minutes until tender. Refresh by running under cold water to cool, then drain, squeeze out any excess moisture and puree to a paste with a hand blender.
Note: Kale can be fibrous, so if necessary add a little of the buttermilk to aid pureeing.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, herbs, sea salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl, adding any sifted out herbs or salt back to the bowl, and make a well in the middle.
- Stir the pureed kale into the buttermilk, then add it to the well in the dry mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a sticky dough.
- With floured hands, pat the dough into a ball and flatten slightly, then place on the baking sheet.
- Cut a deep cross across the top with a knife and sprinkle it with a little flour.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and tapping the bottom of the soda bread makes a hollow sound. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Make it vegan: use non-dairy milk with 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice instead of buttermilk
- Make it gluten-free: use gluten free plain flour
Thanks for checking out my recipe! I love hearing from my readers. You all allow me to do what I love and write this UK food blog, sharing vegetarian and vegan recipes, vegetable cake recipes and also easy vegan desserts.
Disclosure: This recipe for kale herb soda bread was commissioned by Discover Great Veg. All opinions are my own.