Tag Archives: Butter beans


Mushrooms were proudly on display at my local farmers markets this weekend, so I used this as the basis for my recipe. Most mushroom soup recipes use cream, but this one relies on tangy citrus flavours to compliment the earthy mushrooms.


I used a mixture of button mushrooms and portobello. Sumac is a middle eastern spice with a tangy citrus flavour. If you don’t like things spicy, you could substitute the cayenne pepper with paprika. If you have some home-made or bought vegetable stock, feel free to use that instead of the stock powder and hot water. Strict vegetarians can of course skip the anchovy filets. Given that everything will be blended at the end, don’t worry too much about your chopping. The recipe below produces quite a big batch, enough for 6 portions, but it’s always handy to have leftovers for lunch or freezing for later.

What I was cooking this time last year: Passionfruit Pudding

Mushroom Soup

Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1kg button mushrooms
  • 500g portobello mushrooms
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon thyme, plus extra for garnishing
  • 2 x 400g tins of butter beans
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable stock powder
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Chop the onion and garlic.

Onion and garlic

  • Heat the oil in a large pot, add the chopped onion and garlic and anchovy filets and fry over a medium heat while you chop the celery.
  • Chop the celery and add to the pot.
  • Add the sumac and cayenne pepper to the pot and stir to combine. You may need to turn the heat down slightly.
  • Dust any dirt off the mushrooms.
  • Chop the mushrooms and add them to the pot.
  • Cook until the mushrooms wilt down, stirring occasionally.

Butter beans and mushrooms

  • Add the butter beans, and fill up each empty can with water and add that to the pot too.
  • Add the zest and juice of the lemon, stock powder, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Mushroom soup thyme

  • Cook the soup over medium heat for 15 minutes or so.
  • Blend the soup until smooth.
  • Your soup is ready to serve. Garnish with extra thyme if desired. Enjoy.

Mushroom soup

What is your favourite mushroom recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?


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Filed under Herbs, Lemon, Mushroom, Recipes, Savoury, Soup, Spices

Sage and butter bean dip

Getting back to my new year resolution to focus on healthy eating (after last weeks’ cheesecake detour), I wanted to share with you a recipe for dip. This makes a refreshing change from hummus.

Sage is known for its’ antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and has quite a distinctive flavour. The taste of fresh sage and fried sage are different and I used both in this dip to add an extra depth of flavour. I currently have an abundance of sage thanks to two plants growing on my kitchen windowsill, but feel free to experiment with whatever herbs you have available.

Extra virgin olive oil does not withstand high temperatures well, but is delicious on salad or used in dips where it is not heated. Regular olive oil can be used for frying or cooking.

If you don’t have a food processor, you could make this dip by mashing the ingredients together with a fork, just make sure to finely chop the garlic.

Depending on how healthy you are trying to be, this dip is great served with corn chips, vegetable chips, vegetable crudités, or even pita or flat bread ‘chips’.

Pita chips: Take your favourite flat bread, it could be Lebanese bread, pita, or your favourite wrap. For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free wrap or flat bread. Cut the bread into chip size triangles and spread on a baking tray. If you want to crank up the flavour of your flat bread chips, spray your cut bread with a little olive oil spray, sprinkle with salt  or feel free to experiment with other flavour combinations. Cook in a low 150°C oven until crisp and dry, tossing occasionally to prevent those chips on the outsides from burning and to let the chips crisp evenly. Cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Sage and butter bean dip


  • 40 sage leaves, or to taste
  • 1 small lemon, zested and juiced
  • 400g tin of butter beans
  • 50mls olive oil for frying
  • 50mls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • Salt, to taste


  • Heat the olive oil and fry 2 of the sage leaves until crisp.

Sage leaves frying

  • Remove from the oil and drain the fried sage leaves on paper towel.
  • Drain the butter beans to remove the liquid and add to a food processor bowl.
  • Add the fried sage leaves, the fresh sage leaves, lemon zest and juice, salt and garlic to the food processor bowl.
  • Add the remaining sage infused olive oil you used to fry the sage leaves and the extra virgin olive oil to the food processor.

Sage dip ingredients

  • Blitz the ingredients until you have a smooth dip.
  • Transfer your dip to a bowl and serve with your favourite accompaniments. Enjoy.

Sage and butter bean dip

What is your favourite dip? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Dip, Herbs, Lemon, Recipes, Savoury, Vegetarian