David Atherton’s recipe for sweet potato sirenki
Soups can be slurped simply on their own, but I love having something to dunk. A loaf of fresh bread is perfect, but when you’re rustling up a quick soup, you want a quick alternative. The Bulgarian word sirenki basically translates to “something with cheese” and is very similar to a cheese scone. You can whip up a batch quickly once your soup is simmering and you’ll have yourself a perfect soup accompaniment. Sirene is a white brined cheese very popular in Bulgaria. It is often stocked in eastern European or Turkish food stores, but it is similar to Greek feta cheese, which can be used as an alternative. Bulgarian yoghurt is world renowned and for this recipe you need a live yogurt to ensure you have the lactic acid bacteria to provide an acidic mix for the bicarb to boost.
100g sweet potato
100g live natural yoghurt
300g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp fine salt
1 tsp mustard powder
200g sirene (or feta) cheese
Paprika to dust before baking
Peel, chop and boil the sweet potato for 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C/180C (fan)/400F/gas mark 6.
Drain and blitz the sweet potato and yoghurt with a hand blender until smooth.
Put the flour, bicarb, salt and mustard powder in a mixing bowl. Crumble the cheese and add to the bowl, then toss everything together.
Pour over the sweet potato yoghurt mix and bring together to a soft dough.
Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface until 2cm thick. Cut in any shapes you want and place on a lined baking tray. Finally, dust with the paprika.
Bake for 17 minutes (or until nicely golden).
Allow to cool a little and then eat fresh with soup.