Broccoli, White Bean and Bacon Soup (4)

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Another soup – different ingredients. I really like using white beans as a thickener, better for you than potatoes. Bacon adds a nice saltiness. I used back bacon (in the supermarket you may find it names ‘Irish bacon’) which is leaner cut. Dilute with extra broth after cooking if you prefer a thinner soup.

2 rashers of back bacon – halved and sliced

1 onion – diced

1 head of broccoli – cut into florets and I used the stem also

1 can of cannellini beans – drained

2 cups chicken broth (or more if you like a thinner soup)

Heat a frying pan until nice and hot and then add the bacon.

Once bacon is a little browned and giving off juices, add the onion.

Cook stirring occasionally until bacon and onion and nicely browned.

Add the broccoli, beans and broth, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.

Process in a food processor or use a hand held blender.

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Blueberry, Apple and Mint Sauce for Lamb (4)

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I have had such a lovely afternoon pottering in my mother’s kitchen trying to make this sauce which I tasted last week in the depths of North Yorkshire at the Stapylton Arms at Wass. This sauce was served with lamb chops and was on both the ‘Specials’ board and on the gluten and dairy free menu. It was a refreshing combination and beautifully presented with a few whole blueberries and slices of apple that had been cooked in the sauce. The smooth sauce made a lovely puddle around the chops.

The blueberries were ripe and I used an eating apple so that I didn’t need to add sugar. The mint came straight from my mother’s garden. So that the sauce had a zing to it, I ‘muddled’ the mint (as one would do for a cocktail) with balsamic vinegar. It can be served hot or cold. I am so looking forward to having it tonight with organic roast lamb – bread and reared in the area de-boned in front of my eyes in the fantastic local butcher, The Fabulous Meat and Fish Shop in Helmsley, North Yorkshire.

2 tbsp. mint – finely chopped

1 tbsp. aged 12 year old balsamic vinegar

4 oz. blueberries

1 green eating apple – peeled and thinly sliced with a potato peeler

1/4 cup of water

Place the mint in a small glass and pour over the balsamic vinegar, ‘muddle’ it and leave for 10 minutes or so to infuse.

In a small lidded saucepan put the blueberries, apple slices, mint, balsamic vinegar and water.

Bring the pan to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat.

Process sauce in a food processor or hand held blender then push through a sieve.