Go beyond your average blend with this luxurious creamy shellfish soup, flavoured with saffron, brandy and fennel
- 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil, plus a little to serve
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, fronds picked and reserved, bulb chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 200g crabmeat (half brown meat, half white meat) or 1 medium whole crab
- pinch of saffron
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 1l good-quality fish stock (or make your own if using a whole crab - see tip, below)
- 100ml double cream
- zest 1 lemon, plus a squeeze of juice
- 2 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into croutons
MethodAdd the garlic and cook for 1 min more, then stir in the tomato purée for another 1 min. Add the brown crabmeat, saffron, brandy and some pepper, stirring until the brandy has bubbled away. Add the stock and stir until smooth. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 mins or until the vegetables are soft.
- 500g halloumi cheese, cut into cubes
- 3 red peppers, deseeded and cut into squares
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano (fresh or dried)
- 500g red cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- juice ½ lemon
- handful parsley, finely shredded
- pitta breads and tzatziki, to serve
- Thread the halloumi and red peppers onto 8 soaked wooden skewers and put on a plate. Stir the oil and oregano together, then drizzle it over the kebabs. Season well with black pepper – you shouldn’t need salt.
- To make the salad, put the cabbage in a bowl. Mix together the oil, lemon juice and seasoning, pour over the cabbage, and toss until well coated, then stir through the parsley.
- Barbecue the skewers for 10 mins on each side until the cheese is golden and the peppers slightly charred. Serve on a large platter with pitta breads and tzatziki, with salad on the side.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 2 tsp harissa (we used Belazu rose harissa)
- 2 small aubergines, cut into wedges
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
- 140g bulghar wheat
- zest and juice ½ lemon
- large handful mint leaves, chopped
- Greek yogurt, to serve (optional)
- Mix together the oil, honey and harissa, then drizzle half over the aubergines and pepper. Season well. Heat a griddle pan, then cook the veg for 10-15 mins, turning until lightly charred and cooked through.
- Meanwhile, tip the bulghar wheat into a large bowl and pour over boiling water so it is well covered. Let it sit for 10 mins until softened and plump, drain, then pour over the remaining dressing, the lemon juice, zest and mint leaves. Season well and toss everything together. Serve the roasted vegetables on top of the bulghar, drizzled with yogurt, if you like.
- 75g French beans, finely sliced
- 200g fresh white crabmeat
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- grated zest 1 lime
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 75g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 egg, beaten
- sunflower oil, for frying
- 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 red chillies, roughly chopped
- 6cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 dried kaffir lime leaves
- 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- 175g caster sugar
- 50ml rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce or lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- To make the dipping sauce, blend the garlic, chillies, ginger, lime leaves, lemongrass and coriander in a food processor until very finely chopped. Tip the sugar into a small saucepan, add 3 tbsp water and heat gently to dissolve. Continue to cook for another min or so until the syrup starts to thicken slightly.
- Add the chilli and ginger mixture, and continue to cook for a further 2-3 mins. Then stir in the rice vinegar, fish sauce and soy sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Cook the beans in a small pan of boiling salted water for 1-2 mins until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water, then leave to dry on kitchen paper. Mix the crab with the cooked beans and all the remaining ingredients, apart from the sunflower oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and shape into 8 small patties.
- Heat 1-2 tbsp sunflower oil in a frying pan and cook 4 crab cakes at a time until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm while you cook the remainder. Serve with the sweet chilli dipping sauce.