Something beginning with ‘C’…

CHOCOLATE. Why? What did you think I was gonna to say? Wrote this lovely blog for Learning With Experts about the history of chocolate – and let’s be honest, we could all do with a bit of distraction right now.

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

From sugary white to bitter dark, chocolate is the sweet treat we simply can’t get enough of. But where does it come from and what is its history?

Chocolate can be traced back the ancient Maya of Mesoamerica (what we now know as South America). Cocoa was a household staple to the Mayans readily available to everyone. This thick and bitter drink accompanied most meals and was often teamed with honey or chili peppers – a far cry from the sweet confectionary we’re used to today. Later on, in the 13th century, the Aztecs moved in and dominated Mesoamerica. They believed cacao was a gift from the gods and was considered more valuable than gold and was even used as currency. As the status of chocolate reached new heights it began to be enjoyed mostly by the wealthy.

It’s widely disputed how chocolate made its way to Europe, but it is generally thought it first arrived in Spain, where it was adored by the Spanish who swiftly began importing it in the 1500’s. Before long, chocolate fever had swept across Europe and was in high demand with the upper classes. Europeans, however, didn’t care for the bitter Aztec version so began adding sugar and spices, making it a fashionable luxury.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that chocolate become readily available and affordable to the masses. In 1828 a Dutch chemist developed the cocoa press that inexpensively separated the cocoa butter from the roasted cocoa beans, making cocoa powder accessible to all. The powder was mostly enjoyed as a hot drink with milk until 1847, when British chocolatier J.S Fry and Sons moulded the first chocolate bar made out of sugar, cocoa butter and chocolate liquor. But it was Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter who thought to add dried milk to cocoa to create the chocolate we all know and love today, milk chocolate. A few years later he teamed up with his friend Henri Nestle and the rest is history.

So why not raid the cupboards and rustle up a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Or better still, master the art of tempering, moulding and (let’s be honest) eating chocolate in the comfort of your own home with The Art of Chocolate Making, taught by Paul A Young. This four-week course begins anytime from the 27th of March and could be a great way to see out the current Corona crisis.


Dark chocolate chip cookies
Makes 16-18 cookies / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 30 mins / V 
125g salted butter, at room temperature
125g golden caster sugar
2 heaped tbs condensed milk
50g Green and Black’s Organic 70% Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
½ tsp vanilla extract
150g self-raising flour
Sea salt flakes


Method

My original cookie recipe

1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Using an electric whisk in a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the condensed milk and the vanilla extract and continue to whisk until incorporated.
2. On a chopping board using a large knife, roughly chop the chocolate. Add to the mixture and sift the self raising flour over the top. Using a wooden spoon, mix together by hand until you have a well incorporated cookie dough.
3. Line two baking trays with baking paper and using a teaspoon, scoop up a ball of the dough, roughly the size of a walnut. Roll the dough in your hands until you have a ball and place on the baking tray. Space the cookie dough out evenly (be sure not to over crowd the baking trays, the cookies will expand in the oven).
4. Using the back of a tablespoon, press down on each ball gently to squash it out a little to help form a round disk. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly on the tray, before carefully transferring to a cooling rack using a spatula. Sprinkle with a tiny pinch of sea salt flakes and serve with a good cup of tea.


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V – Vegetarian
 – The cookie dough is suitable for home freezing. Roll into a sausage shape and wrap in a few layers of clingfilm. Consume within 3 months.



My 10 step guide to you know what…

I’m not going to mention it… Nope, not going to mention it… But if I was going to mention it, then this would be my 12 step guide on how to survive ‘it’…


  1. Fighting the urge to stockpile is hard (don’t worry, I feel it too) but running around Sainsbury’s picking up any old can of rice pudding isn’t the answer. Before you even attempt to go shopping, take stock of what you already have and go from there. Of course prioritise long-life items such as beans, pasta and toilet roll but only buy what you think you might need and use – do you really need 24 toilet rolls? I think not.

  2. Bigger isn’t always better. Once you know what you need, avoid the big supermarkets and go to your local corner shop or independent grocer. It might be a tad more expensive but you may find this encourages you to only buy what you need. Plus, these smaller shops seem to be better stocked than the supermarkets currently and far less stressful!

  3. Don’t try and get everything in one go. Shop little and often until you feel you have what you need to self-isolate for 2 weeks – not 2 years! Then squirrel it away and save it for if/when you need it.

  4. Fresh produce is far easier to come by for obvious reasons, but it’s not a bad idea to sign up to a vegetable delivery service just in case. I use Oddbox, a fresh vegetable delivery box that sends us surplus fruit and veg directly from farms once a fortnight. This could be a real lifesaver if you and your family are self-isolating and start to get sick of beans on toast. Riverford and Abel & Cole are also great options. Recipe boxes could also be a good choice – I like Hello Fresh and Gousto. Failing that don’t panic. Fresh produce doesn’t seem to be an issue at the moment but if you are concerned, opt for vegetables that have a long shelf-life such as root vegetables, squash, celery, onions, garlic, citrus fruits and apples.

  5. Check to see if you have a local milkman – yes milkmen are thing again and growing in popularity. I use Milk & More and I’m utterly obsessed. Not only do we get a rather pleasing glass bottle of milk on our doorstep once a week, but you can also add other items to your order such as eggs, bread, cheese and yes, even toilet paper!

  6. It’s no secret that the hospitality industry is going to be hit seriously hard by the current crisis so it’s important to try and support your local restaurants. In the coming weeks, most restaurants will be closing their doors but may start to offer delivery services they didn’t before. So help them out and treat yourself to a slice of local business.
    Additionally, delivery chains are providing ‘contact free’ delivery, so you can still have that Friday night Dominos cross contamination free – appetising.


  7. This may sound obvious but eat fresh foods first and freeze leftovers as you go along. This will avoid waste and leave you with home cooked meals when you might need them most. It’s also always good to freeze a loaf of pre-sliced bread – ever tried slicing an unsliced frozen bloomer? It’s a literal nightmare.

  8. Banana shallots, just buy them. They last for ages and one banana shallot can be used to substitute half an onion in a recipe. The bigger the better though – peeling a tiny banana shallot isn’t fun at all. It’s also not a bad idea to buy potted herbs, they last much longer and can replenish themselves, given the right care and attention.

  9. Avoid buying things you wouldn’t usually buy. If you don’t normally buy biscuits, then why do you have three packets of bourbons in your basket? Put them back!

  10. Medicines. Again, avoid buying these from the big supermarkets, independent pharmacies and high-street chains such as Boots and Superdrug are far better stocked. There are restrictions on certain products, so check what you have already, before running out and attempting to purchase ten boxes of Tixylix.

  11. I know I said this was a ’10 step’ guide but I thought of another one. Certain cheeses can be stored in the fridge for up to three months and can be a great addition to most meals. Purchase varieties in quantities you think you will consume – I use a lot of feta, parmesan and cheddar in my cooking so that’s what I’ll be buying. Again, it’s about being a mindful and considerate shopper so others don’t miss out.

So good luck and try not to let panic buying get the better of you.



Cracked it: My fool-proof guide to cooking eggs

Healthier Scotch Eggs

Boiled, fried, poached… Well that’s kind of it, but however you like to eat yours, eggs are rich in protein, nutrients and if cooked correctly, can be darn tootin’ tasty. But alas, over-cooked, chalky yolks and runny whites are destroying breakfasts across the land, so perhaps it’s time to go back to basics this Easter.

Before we get onto cooking, let’s discuss storage and freshness. It may surprise you to know that older eggs can sometimes be the superior choice, depending on how you are planning to cook with them. If hard-boiling, slightly older eggs are easier to peel – if you’ve ever tried to peel a fresh egg, I feel your pain. The white comes away with the shell and you’re left with a knobbly pot-holed mess. However, older eggs cook with a more robust white, making them considerably easier to peel, so save fresh eggs for poaching, frying and scrambling.

To refrigerate or to not refrigerate. This has been long debated but generally, comes down to the climate you live in. As a general rule, it’s best to keep eggs in the fridge, as constant changes in temperature can cause the eggs to spoil. If in doubt, refrigerate. However, room temperature eggs can be better for cooking with, so it’s best to remove the eggs from the fridge and allow them to come up to temperature before cooking.

Turkish eggs with pita

Frying: Frying eggs can be a daunting task to many due to copious amounts of hot oil used for basting. However, this technique is out-dated and unnecessary – but you will need a non-stick frying pan with a lid. Add a tsp of cooking oil or butter to a non-stick saucepan and place over a medium heat. Meanwhile, crack the egg into a ramekin – cracking the egg directly into the pan gives you less control and can occasionally break the yolk. Once hot, move the oil around the pan before sliding in the egg. Allow to cook for about a minute, or until the white has started to set, before covering with a lid. Fry the egg for around 2-3 minutes, checking regularly as to not over-cook the yolk.


Perfectly Poached Eggs

Poaching: Poaching is possibly the most feared of all the egg cooking methods, due to the confusion around vinegar and swirling water vortexes. It’s true that a drop of vinegar helps coagulate the egg but it’s only really necessary if your eggs aren’t all that fresh. Personally, I don’t bother with vinegar or swirling the water around – it’s Sunday morning and I want my poached eggs with as little faff as possible. l simply fill a small frying pan nearly to the brim with boiling water and bring to a simmer. Crack the egg into a small ramekin before lowering carefully into the water and tipping out. Simmer gently for two to three minutes for a soft, runny yolk. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve.


Healthier Scotch Eggs
Healthier Scotch Eggs

Boiling: My childhood favourite. From slicing off the cap to dunking in hot buttered soldiers, a soft-boiled egg evokes happy memories and joy. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer. Gently lower in two eggs and set a timer for six minutes. Six minutes ensures a set white and a running yolk, perfect for dunking. For hard boiled  eggs, it’s best to use slightly older eggs to ensure an easier peel. Simmer in boiling water for 8 minutes before transferring to an icy water bath. Leave to cool fully before peeling.


For more foodie tips, insightful blogs and inspiring food and drink courses visit learningwithexperts.com/foodanddrink.


St David’s Day Bara brith

Bara Brith
Bara Brith
Bara Brith

Happy St David’s day! Admittedly this is an old recipe but I didn’t have time to make Welsh cakes this year, so you’ll just have to make do with this rather delicious tea loaf. I’m off to play with llamas – don’t ask. 🦙


Bara brith
Makes one loaf / Hands on time 25 mins / Takes 1 hour 20 mins + cooling / V
You’ll need:
21cm x 12cm loaf tin
180g sultanas
300ml boiling water
2 black tea bags
2 tbs orange juice
1 tbs honey
2 medium eggs
140g soft brown sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ ground ginger
260g self raising flour
Pinch of salt


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 160°C/140°C fan/325°F/gas mark 3 and grease a loaf tin with butter. In a large saucepan, add the 
sultanas, tea bags and 300ml of boiling water. Give it a stir to allow the tea to infuse and bring to the boil. Reduce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
2. Meanwhile measure out the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and add 2 tbs of the tea liquid. Drain the sultanas, discard the rest of the liquid and add to the butter and sugar. Stir well until the butter has melted. Add the orange juice and the honey and mix well.
3. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork before adding to the mixture. Stir until combined before putting to one side. 
4. In a medium sized bowl, measure out the dry ingredients and mix together. Add to the wet mixture a bit at a time and stir until fully incorporated. Once combined, pour into the greased loaf tin.
5. Bake for 30 minutes before carefully and quickly, covering the cake loosely with tin foil in the oven by draping it over the cake and securing it by crunching the sides (do this quickly to avoid the temperature dropping in the oven and to prevent the cake from colouring too much – you want it to stay a nice golden colour). Bake for a further 25 minutes.
6. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving warm with salty butter.


TIP: To keep the cake moist, while it’s still warm wrap in clingfilm and store in a cool dry place. Consume within 3 days.




 

Bara Brith
Bara Brith

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian
– Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Wrap in a few layers of clingfilm and consume within 3 months.


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Blueberry Dutch baby

Blueberry Dutch baby

If like me, you suffer with serious pancake flipping anxiety, then why not do away with the flipping altogether? Frankly I don’t need the flippin’ stress and making multiple pancakes when I get home from work just sounds tedious and messy.

Despite being called a Dutch baby, this Yorkshire pudding-esque pancake is actually German in origin, the word ‘Dutch’ deriving from the word ‘Deutsch’. Traditionally made in an iron skillet (which I do not own) this fluffy dessert is baked entirely in the oven. So, give that frying-pan a miss and bake a baby this pancake day – that came out wrong.


Blueberry Dutch baby
Serves 2 / Hands on time 5-10 mins / Total time 30 mins /
You’ll need: Oven-proof dish, roughly 22cm x 28cm
30g unsalted butter
100g plain flour
3 eggs
300ml semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 handfuls of blueberries
To serve
Granulated sugar and maple syrup
Icing sugar for dusting (optional)


Method
1. Preheat an over to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7. Measure out the butter and add to the over-proof dish. Place in the oven to heat up.
2. Meanwhile, measure out the flour in a large bowl and mix in the salt and the sugar before making a well in the centre. Crack in the eggs, add the milk and the vanilla before beating the eggs into the milk, slowly incorporating the flour. Once you have a smooth batter put to one side.
3. Remove the dish from the oven (by now the butter should be melted and bubbling). Sprinkle the blueberries straight into the dish followed by all the pancake batter. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 mins. Once the pancake has puffed up and the edges are golden brown, remove from the oven.
4. Serve immediately sprinkled with sugar and lashings of maple syrup.

Blueberry Dutch baby

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian


 

Naan pizza

Naan pizza

Admittedly, this is an old recipe of mine but I love it, and feel I deserve a treat now the diet is well and truly out the window. A month of panting red faced up and down my street was definitely not worth it. However, jogging does little for my current double chin situation. So in an attempt to get it sucked out (and with nothing better to do) I made my way to Harley Street. Turns out my chin wasn’t quite big enough to warrant such a procedure so was told to come back when it’s bigger.
“Let me get this straight. I have to fatten up my chin before you’ll suck it out?” I say before roaring with laughter – the irony of this was clearly lost on my technician who simply looked at me blankly. Oh well, got me out the house for a few hours.


Naan pizza
Makes 2 pizza / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 30 mins /
V
You’ll need: Baking paper
2 plain naan breads
2 tbs tomato puree
1 tsp dried oregano
1-2 balls vegetarian mozzarella, drained and thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)
Toppings
I used sweet red peppers and black olives but you can use whatever you like


TIP: I use one ball of thinly sliced mozzarella for two pizzas but if you like your pizza extra cheesy, use two balls – I won’t tell. 


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400F/gas mark 6 and line the bottom oven tray with baking paper – this is to catch any melted cheese/toppings that may fall from your pizza during baking.
2. Spread each naan generously with tomato puree, sprinkle with oregano and top with sliced mozzarella. Top with your desired toppings and season with salt and pepper.
3. Slide carefully onto the middle shelf in the oven and cook for 15-20 mins or until golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Carefully slide each pizza onto a board, top with fresh basil and serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Naan pizza

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian



Leek & cheddar loaf

Leek and cheddar loaf

Currently unemployed/freelance, I seem to spend most of my days, actively avoiding doing any form of work. Whether it be cleaning, job hunting or working on my ‘brilliant’ life changing new business ideas, I just seem to find myself watching episode after episode of Judge Rinder and eating slice after slice of this delicious leek and cheese loaf. Well a girl has got to eat and Judge Rinder is very wise… I can change my life tomorrow.

This loaf goes great with hearty soups and can also be enjoyed as a breakfast on the go or simply toasted spread with butter. So get your loaf on and become a lazy bum like me #lifegoals.


Leek and cheddar loaf
Makes 1 loaf / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 1hr 20 mins + cooling / V
You’ll need: 2lb/900g loaf tin, baking paper
Rapeseed oil or butter for greasing
150g leek (1 medium leek) finely chopped
75g strong mature vegetarian cheddar, grated
250g self-raising flour
50g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt flakes
250ml semi-skimmed milk
2 eggs
Few springs of thyme, leaves picked
Black pepper
40g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan*, grated
Small handful pumpkin seeds


TIP: If you have any extra root vegetables to use up, replace the leeks with whatever you have to hand. Grate hard vegetables such as carrots and butternut squash and finely chop fibrous greens. You can also replace the cheddar with a cheese of your choice. 


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a loaf tin with oil or butter and line the bottom with baking paper. Put to one side.
2. Finely chop the leek and grate the cheddar. Mix together in a medium sized bowl and add the Italian hard cheese, keeping a handful a side for later.
3. In a larger mixing bowl, measure out the flours, baking powder, salt and mix until  combined. Add the leek and cheese mixture, thyme leaves and a good crack of black pepper and mix well until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. In a mixing jug, measure out 250ml of semi-skimmed milk and crack in 2 eggs. Beat with a fork until fully incorporated. Pour straight into the dry mixture and mix quickly until combined – adding the wet ingredients to the dry activated the baking powder so the sooner you can get it in the oven the better.
5. Pour into a loaf tin and top with the remaining cheese and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. Bake in the oven for 1 hr.
6. Remove and cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out and cooling fully on a rack. However, if you’re desperate to eat it warm feel free, just bear in mind the loaf will be a little soft so slice carefully. Serve on its own or spread with butter. Wrap in foil and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Leek and cheddar loaf

V – Vegetarian
❄ – Once cooled, slice and wrap well in cling film or foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost fully in the fridge before consuming.
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.



Chocolate pear porridge

Chocolate pear porridge

 


I like it when my breakfast resembles dessert, especially when it’s deceptively nutritious and uses seasonal produce. January is literally the only time you can get a pear that isn’t so hard you chip your teeth on it. So get with the season and enjoy a warming bowl of chocolate porridge – would be rude not to.


Chocolate pear porridge
Serves 1 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 10 mins / V Vn Df
1/3 cup porridge oats
2/3 cup oat milk
1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp milled flaxseed (optional)
Pinch of sea salt flakes
Handful fruit and nuts
1 tsp maple syrup + extra to serve
Drop of vanilla extract (optional)
½  pear to serve, sliced


Tip: Don’t wait to soak your pan, do it immediately or your porridge will turn to cement. 


Method
1. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients together apart from the pear. Cook on a medium heat stirring continually until the porridge is thick and creamy.
2. Serve immediately topped with sliced pear and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Chocolate pear porridge

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free.



Warm up in a miners’ cottage in Northumberland

It was cold, blustery and rainy when Jamie and I arrived at this romantic inn on the North Pennine Moors, so perfect conditions for cosying up under a blanket by a roaring fire…

Lord crew arms Northumberland

‘There’s a roll top bath in the bedroom!’
I screeched excitedly as I climbed the dainty spiral staircase in our beautiful miners’ cottage, deep in the Northumbrian landscape. Split over two levels, the cottage is one of two miners’ suites on offer at the Lord Crewe Arms and it
is the epitome of country chic. It feels contemporary but authentic, decorated with a subtle balance of old and new. The bed is big and stacked with luxurious feather pillows, the lighting warm and the cosy window seats invite you to look out across the square at the honey-coloured bricks of Blanchland village
The Lord Crewe Arms is a former 12th-century abbot’s guest house and one of the oldest hotels in the country. Nestled in the rolling North Pennine Moors and founded as a priory in 1165, it was built to house the monks and abbots of Blanchland Abbey before Lord Crewe bought it in the 1700s. With an authentic medieval charm, stone-flagged floors, 12 bedrooms and wibbly-wobbly corridors, it’s the perfect romantic countryside getaway for couples who enjoy fresh air and good, old-fashioned hearty fare.
A river runs through the middle of the  village, which is surrounded by woods and breathtaking moorland. Ideal for outdoor-lovers, the hotel is well-equipped with free bikes, maps, routes, wellingtons, compasses and even a drying room – although, admittedly, our walking boots didn’t see much action.
Instead, I found myself sporting a towelling robe with a homemade shortbread biscuit clamped between my teeth and running a bath at two in the afternoon, while my other half was busy lighting the wood burner and enjoying countless espressos from the Nespresso machine. Clearly, we were both prepared to
do everything but walk this weekend – it was raining, after all.

GETTING COSY
After a mid-afternoon snooze, we were finally prepared to face the rain and walk over to the main house and down into the Crypt bar to wet our whistles before dinner. The Crypt is a medieval vaulted chamber where you can sample the hotel’s own brew, as well as other Northumbrian ales, wines, Highland whisky and a Geordie cocktail or three. Packed with locals chattering by warm candlelight, the pub is the heart of the hotel and community.
Cheeks flushed, we drifted up to the Bishop’s dining room, where we indulged in seasonal dishes, such as pan-fried Scottish scallops with spiced carrots and pork belly; grilled lamb chops with braised shoulder and cabbage, and plaice with a spiced brown shrimp butter, washed down with some very reasonably priced wines. Somehow, we found room for the most delicious raspberry Bakewell pudding, served with clotted cream. It was unlike any Bakewell pudding we had ever had, and a great way to round off our romantic getaway. In fact, we were so wrapped up in the cosy ambience of the Lord Crewe Arms, we hardly noticed getting drenched on the walk back to our cottage.


JUST DOWN THE ROAD
A 30-minute drive away is the beautiful, bustling Roman village of Corbridge. Wander along the picturesque high street and enjoy dipping in and out of the independent shops, historic pubs and tea rooms. Originally a supply base for Roman troops and home to the oldest handwritten documents in Britain, plus Roman armour and trinkets, Corbridge is the perfect pit stop to discover what life was like as a soldier on Hadrian’s Wall.

Double rooms, with breakfast, from £147 until 28 February 2019, then from £157 until 28 May 2019. lordcrewarmsblanchland.co.uk



For more information visit lordcrewarmsblanchland.co.uk


 

Middle Eastern foul (ful) soup

Middle Eastern foul (ful) soup

OK, so I’m using the word ‘foul’ loosely, as this soup doesn’t resemble a traditional Middle Eastern foul at all – but in my defence, Sainsbury’s don’t sell fava beans and I wanted to make it more of a soup than a dip. so sue me. Please don’t sue me, I haven’t got any money. It’s January, and all I have is a can of chickpeas and a rather stale mince pie that I am currently eating. Happy New Year, everyone!


Middle Eastern foul (ful) soup
Serves 2 / hands on time 25 mins / total time 30 mins / V Vn* Df Gf
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
500ml weak veg stock (I use ½ a vegetable Knorr stock pot)
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can chickpeas or fava beans if you can get them
2 eggs
Handful parsley, finely chopped
½ lemon, juiced
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Pickled turnips, sliced to serve (optional) – See TIP
2 pita bread to serve (optional)
Tahini dressing:
1 tbs tahini
½ lemon, juiced
1 tbs boiling water
Pinch of salt


TIP: Pickled turnips are notoriously hard to find, I went to my local Mediterranean supermarket in Kentish town but you can buy them here. Alternatively, leave it out altogether or substitute for pickled red cabbage.


Make it vegan: Forgo the boiled eggs.


Method
1. Add the oil to a heavy bottomed pot over a medium heat. Peel and slice the onion thinly and place all but a handful in the pot along with a tsp of salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until the onions start to soften – add a dash of water to the pan from time to time to help the onions steam.
2. Add the the cumin and the coriander and cook off the spices for a further 2 minutes before adding the weak vegetable stock. Up the heat and bring to the boil before adding the chickpeas or fava beans. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, boil the 2 eggs (these need to hard boil so no need to time them, simply leave them bubbling away).
4. To make the tahini dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined and put to one side. Finely chop the fresh parsley.
5. After 10 minutes, take the onion and bean broth off the heat, pop the lid on and put to one side. Drain the boiling water off the eggs and give them a good burst of cold water until they are cool enough to handle and peel.
6. To assemble your soup, divide the broth into bowls and top with sliced boiled eggs, pickled turnips, fresh parsley, raw onion slices and a good drizzle of tahini dressing and extra virgin olive oil.

Middle Eastern foul (ful) soup

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V – Vegetarian.    Vn – Vegan’s forgo the eggs     Df – Dairy free
Gf – I use Knorr vegetable stock pots because they are gluten free but other stock pots/cubes may not be.