Recipe: spiced pottage

A luxury take on a medieval staple made with whole fava beans

Fava bean pottage, Getty

You’d be forgiven for never having heard of a fava bean – but this delicious, versatile and British-grown ingredient should be a staple in our kitchen cupboards. Start your fava bean journey with this spiced pottage dish.

  • 250g dried whole fava beans or 2 x 400g canned fava beans in water
  • 500ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1cm root ginger, finely chopped
  • 3cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 level dessert spoon honey
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 pinches of sea salt
  • Parsley and/or rose petals (unsprayed!) to garnish
Fava beans are very similar to broad beans ©Alamy

1. Soak dried beans overnight, rinse, bring to the boil and simmer for 60 minutes (or pressure cook for 45 minutes). If using canned beans, simply drain and rinse.

2. Chop the onion finely and cook on a low heat until transparent. Add ginger, garlic, cloves and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes. Add the beans, cook for a few minutes more, then pour in the almond milk and stir in the saffron. When it’s simmering, stir in the honey.

3. Cook gently for 20 minutes. The pottage should reduce and the beans will begin to break up. Season with salt and mash the beans with a fork to create a paste – you might need to add a little water.

4. Before serving stir in some chopped parsley or use as a garnish with rose petals.

For a touch of class, add rose petals to garnish ©Alamy

Main image ©Alamy