Samphire, cider and veg chowder

Serves: 4
Course: Main Course
Cooking Time: 0 hr 35 mins
  • Serves 4-6
  • 3 shallots or 1 medium onion
  • 200g swede (turnip)
  • Half a bulb of fennel
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 leeks
  • 500g potatoes (preferably a slightly waxy potato that holds its shape when boiled)
  • 1 x 400g tin of butter beans
  • 750ml dry cider
  • Bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 200g fresh samphire
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Peel and finely chop the shallots and swede. Cut the fennel, carrots, leeks and unpeeled potatoes into bite-size pieces. Drain butter beans and rinse thoroughly.

Saute the shallots for three minutes over a medium heat. Add the cider, a bouquet garni (parsley, thyme and bay leaf tied together), the swede, carrots, potatoes, salt (and some dulse, if you have some). Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for eight to 10 minutes.

Add the fennel and leeks to the pan, along with the vegetable stock, and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the stock has reduced down near the level of the vegetables (approximately 15 minutes). Add the coconut milk, butter beans and lemon juice and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat.

Bring a separate small pan of water to the boil. Add the samphire and blanch for 20-30 seconds, then drain and cool under cold running water. This gives the samphire a really vibrant green colour. Add to the pan just before serving, then taste and season with salt and pepper.

Great with fresh brown bread.