Creamed Broad Beans with Bacon and Parsley

It’s years since I’ve made this lovely way of cooking broad beans. I always bother to peel them – removing the thick, rubbery sheath that covers the bright green beans – but that’s a matter of taste. It’s a lovely accompaniment to simply cooked white fish or chicken but I like it piled over a thick slice of buttered toast with a couple of soft-poached eggs.

Serves 2

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 20 min

100g smoked streaky bacon

1 tbsp vegetable oil

250g fresh or frozen podded broad beans

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp flour

2 tbsp full fat crème fraiche or thick cream

squeeze lemon

few sprigs of flat leaf parsley

     Slice the bacon into lardons. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring as the fat runs and the pieces crisp. Scoop out of the pan onto a fold of kitchen paper. Meanwhile, boil the kettle. Half fill a medium pan with boiling water from the kettle. Add 1 tsp salt and the beans. Let them boil until they pop up to the surface, a minute or two. Scoop out of the pan and spread out on a plate to cool slightly. Measure off 150ml bean water. Pinch the side of the cooling beans with thumb nail against index finger and gently squeeze out the bright green beans. Melt the butter in the empty pan over a medium-low heat, stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until smooth then add the reserved water, stirring briskly to make a smooth sauce. Stir in the cream and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add bacon, beans and chopped parsley. Heat through and serve.