Preparing and Cooking Broad Beans

Young beans, no thicker than a finger and 3 in. (75 mm) long, are the most delicious. They are cooked in their pods. Larger broad beans must be shelled before cooking, and served as an accompanying hot vegetable or in a salad.

Mature beans, which tend to be floury, should also be shelled and, after boiling, the outer tough skin of the beans should be removed and the inner flesh mashed to a puree with butter and seasoning.



1/2 lb. (250g) shelled broad beans

1/2 lb. (250g) shelled green peas

2 shallots

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons garlic


Salt and pepper

1 clove garlic (optional)

Garnish: fresh basil

COOKING TIME: 15 minutes

Cook the broad beans and peas until tender, drain and leave to cool. Put in a serving bowl and mix with the finely chopped shallots.

Make a dressing from the oil, vinegar, salt., pepper and crushed garlic.

Serving Dress the bean and pea salad just before serving, turning it in the marinade until well coated. Sprinkle with roughly chopped basil leaves.




1 lb. (500g) mature broad beans

4 oz (100g) potatoes

3 carrots

1 parsnip

Bouquet garni

2 pints (1L) white stock

Salt, pepper and sugar

1 oz (25g) butter

Garnish: leeks

COOKING TIME 40 minutes

Shell the beans, put in a pan of lightly salted, boiling water and cook, until just tender. Drain, and remove the outer skins.

Put the beans into a large pan with the peeled and chopped potatoes, the scraped, diced carrots and the peeled, chopped parsnip. Add the bouquet garni and stock; bring to the boil over gentle heat and simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Discard the bouquet garni. Remove from the heat, cool slightly, then blend in a liquidiser to a smooth puree.

Return the bean puree to the pan and, if necessary, thin down with a little milk. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar, and stir in the butter.

Serving Heat through, pour into individual soup bowls and top with the finely chopped leeks.

Variation Stir in 5 fl oz (150 ml) double cream and heat through, without boiling. Serve with crisp bread croutons instead of leeks.




1 lb. (500g) young broad beans

Salt and pepper

4 oz (100g ) butter

Juice of 4 lemons

1 dessertspoon chopped basil or parsley

COOKING TIME: 15 minutes

Wash the young beans, then top and tail them and put in a pan of lightly salted, boiling water. Bring back to the boil and cook, covered, until they are tender, which will take 10 15 minutes.

Drain thoroughly, melt the butter in a pan and toss the beans until they are evenly coated. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and lemon juice.

Alternatively, melt the butter. Stir in the lemon juice and serve separately.

Serving Serve buttered beans garnished with the finely chopped basil or parsley. Or blend the herbs into the melted butter and lemon juice and serve in a sauce boat.

Variation Arrange the hot beans in a dish and spoon a little soured cream over them.

07. June 2011 by admin
Categories: Food, Recipes | Tags: , | Comments Off on Preparing and Cooking Broad Beans


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