As with many of our recipes in the Old Dairy Kitchen we work on an idea or flavour simply because the ingredient is perfect on that day.

A SOUP FOR SPRING

This soup is a very versatile recipe, perfect for a light lunch as it is or used as a base to serve with plump nettle gnocchi, torn yesterday’s bread or a beautiful piece of white fish or steamed mussels. This is an instinctive recipe to cook, be gentle with the cooking and quick when needs be, this is how you keep it all fresh and green.

SERVES 4

1 small onion ( nely diced)
4 asparagus spears (cut into 1 cm pieces)
2kg whole young & tender broad beans (podded)
700g whole fresh peas (podded)
1 large potato (peeled and cut into 1 cm dice)
1 small bunch of parsley (leaves removed)
1 small bunch of mint (leaves removed and finely sliced)
8 fresh wild garlic leaves (finely sliced)
Chicken Stock (can use veg stock or water)
3 tbsp olive oil
1⁄2 lemon zest
Spring shoots to garnish
300ml whey 

Warm 1.5tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pan, add the onion, gently fry without colour until tender. Add the potatoes, half the mint, half the parsley and enough stock to cover, bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes of simmering add the peas, asparagus and half the broad beans and continue cooking. 

Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a heavy based frying pan. Once the oil is warm add the remaining broad beans and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the whey, zest and wild garlic and increase the heat, cook until the whey has all but evaporated, this will only take a few minutes on a high heat, by now the broad beans should be tender, add the remaining mint and parsley and remove from the heat. Using a pestle and mortar smash up the mixture to create a chunky broad bean paste, thin with a little water if too dry. 

Mix the chunky broad beans back into the soup, check the seasoning garnish with spring shoots and wild flowers such as primroses or wild garlic flowers.

FERMENTED CHICORY WITH WILD GARLIC

500g Chicory Leaves

30 wild garlic stalks (alternatively use 8 peeled and finely slices garlic cloves)
1L of 2% Brine Solution (Dissolve 20g of salt in 1litre of water and chill)
30ml of organic whey (optional)

6 white peppercorns

Sterilise a jar large enough to hold all the ingredients when tightly packed. There may be a little extra brine.

Fill the jar with the chicory, garlic and peppercorns and push down firmly but try not to break the chicory leaves.

Combine the whey and brine and pour on top of the vegetables until they are totally submerged. Place a non-metallic plate or bowl on top ensuring that the vegetables are completely submerged; this shall prevent decolourisation and a mould forming.

Leave a room temperature for at least one week or until the chicory has lost it’s bitterness and taken on a tangy deliciousness.

This eats fantastically well with soft cheese.

Chris Onions runs the Old Dairy Kitchen. He caters for all our events, courses and farm lunches, produces delicious treats for sale and teaches his own courses. Chris also hosts his own monthly dinner series and runs other events.