Spiced pottage

  • Easy

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.

Fava beans are very similar to broad beans. /Credit: Alamy


  • Fava beans 250g or 200g, 250g dried whole fava beans or 2 x 400g canned fava beans in water
  • Unsweetened almond milk 500ml
  • Root ginger 1cm, finely chopped
  • Cinnamon stick 3cm
  • Red onion 1, medium
  • Garlic cloves 2 o 3, finely chopped
  • Honey 1 level dessert spoon
  • Saffron Pinch
  • Cloves 3
  • Sea salt 2 pinches
  • Parsley and/or rose petals (unsprayed!) to garnish


  • Step 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.

  • Step 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.

  • Step 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.

  • Step 4

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