Must try spring recipes from Kate Humble's new cookbook

Kate Humble shares some of her favourite spring recipes with Farmers Guardian readers from her new book, Homecooked.

clock • 6 min read
Must try spring recipes from Kate Humble's new cookbook

Kate Humble shares some of her favourite spring recipes with Farmers Guardian readers from her new book, Home cooked.

By her own admission, Kate Humble is not a chef. But her latest book,Home Cooked,is a celebration of local produce and focuses on easy, seasonal dishes.

With a passion for working in collaboration with others, and a chance to highlight provenance, Kate says her book has become a homage to her close friends and colleagues who have helped her on the way.

"I never planned to write a cookbook, but because we were makingEscape to the Farm and they wanted me to cook, I thought Im going to cook what I know. We have wonderful producers in the area", says Kate.

"I was cooking in a very real way, and the audience tried the recipes and said theyre really simple and delicious. Lots of the recipes were from my mum or what my granny used to cook. There was something lovely about thinking of the food I like to eat - and then it make sense to me to make it seasonal.

"It goes back to my childhood - in the 1970s food was much more seasonal".

Together

In the end, it was a lovely collaboration. Thats what Ill always go back to writing, a cookbook or running a farm, you can do so much more by working together.

This cookbook is the epitome of that its friends and family recipes along with mine, and the wonderful photographs. We had a gathering with producers who contributed to the book, at the cafe on the farm run by a local couple, Jess and Jake. It feels like our farm is a family, and theres all these people who have been part of the whole journey with us, who made the cookbook possible.

quote

"There was something lovely about thinking of the food I like to eat - and then it made sense to me to make it seasonal"

KATE HUMBLE

A soda bread for spring with parsley and chives

Ingredients

Makes 1 loaf

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g wholemeal flour
  • 1tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • A bunch of parsley
  • A bunch of chives
  • Either 300ml buttermilk, or 150ml mixed with 150ml natural yogurt
  • Oil for greasing

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200degC/Gas Mark 6. Mix the flours, bicarb and salt in a bowl. Chop up the parsley and chives finely and add to the flour mix.
  • Stir in the buttermilk or milk/yogurt mixture until you have a soft dough. Tip it onto a floured work surface and knead it very lightly and briefly, just to make sure it is well mixed.
  • Shape into a round loaf and put on a greased baking tray or in a loose bottomed cake tin. Cut a deep cross in the top with a sharp knife (which according to my friend Jennifer, is to let the fairies out). Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Check it at this point by tapping its bottom - if it sounds crisp and hollow, and the centre of the cross looks cooked, then it is done. If not, give it a little longer.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • This will be a good-sized loaf, but you will probably finish it in about half an hour. You can freeze it for up to three months.

cookbook

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Kate Humble's Cookbook

Kate Humbles book, Home Cooked: Recipes from the Farm is a celebration of simple, seasonal home cooking full of flavour, comfort and joy. With more than 100 recipes from Kates kitchen table, this is food to share from breakfast time to the evening meal - for lazy days, busy weeknights or gatherings, and everything in between.

Spring in your step soup

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • Olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1 largely floury potato, like a Maris Piper, scrubbed and cut into cubes
  • A handful of kale leaves, removed from the tough stalks and chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (fresh or from a cube)
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 50g young nettle leaves, stems removed, washed
  • A grating of nutmeg (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Heat a good glug of olive oil with the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and leek with a good pinch of salt and sweat over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until both are soft and the onion is translucent.
  • Add the potato, kale and stock, put a lid on the pot and bring to the boil. Then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until the potato is soft.
  • Add the spinach and nettle leaves and cook until wilted, it will take barely a minute. Remove from the heat and blitz the soup until smooth. Season with black pepper and if you like, a grating of nutmeg and more salt.
  • Delicious topped with grated Parmesan or pecorino and croutons, which you can buy or make, either by drizzling a chunky slice of bread - sourdough is good - with olive oil and letting it crisp up in the oven or, even easier, overcooking a bit of toast and crumbling it up on the soup. Or in late spring, a blob of wild garlic pesto drizzled on the top of the soup is amazing.

Spring chicken with wild garlic and new potatoes

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Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 6-8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 3tspns wild garlic pesto(see Kate's recipe in the cookbook)
  • 750g new potatoes, scrubbed and halved or quartered
  • Olive oil
  • 2 handfuls of wild garlic leaves, any flowers reserved for garnish
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 200-250ml chicken stock (fresh or from a cube)
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Open out the chicken thighs and spread the wild garlic pesto over the flesh side, avoiding the skin where possible. You can cook them straight away or leave them to marinade for up to 24 hours. Once ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200degC/Gas Mark 6.
  • Put the potatoes into a medium-large roasting tine big enough to hold the chicken thighs in a single layer. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Push the wild garlic leaves in between the potatoes. Pour over the white wine and chicken stock - you need about 1cm of liquid in the bottom of the tin, so if your tin is large, you might need to add a bit more stock and/or wine. Then place the pesto-marinated chicken thighs in top of the potatoes and garlic leaves with the skin facing up.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and season the skin with a few pinches of salt.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through with crisp golden skin. Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving with any wild garlic flowers scattered over the top.

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