As a British person, scones are very close to my heart but basically being just a mixture of butter and flour, I don’t eat them as often as I would like. I tend to eat scones as a sweet treat with jam and clotted cream (always jam first! – everyone has an opinion on this in the U.K – it’s a great conversation point.). If you’re a tourist to England and you’d like to try the best scones, you need to go to the teahouse at the Jane Austen museum in the beautiful city of Bath. I saw these savoury scones in the book ‘Palestine on a Plate’ and decided to serve them with Ottolenghi’s spring onion soup. I managed to slice my thumb open in the process of chopping up the immense quantity of 900g spring onions but fortunately it was just as I’d pretty much finished so I’m happy that this soup turned out well considering that I can no longer practice the guitar.
Serves 4 (with 8 scones)
- 340g plain flour (plus one handful) and extra for dusting
- 3/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3/4 tbsp baking powder
- 125g butter
- 240ml milk
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp za’atar
- 1 egg
- 900g spring onions (or salad onions if possible)
- 40g butter
- 1 bulb garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 300g peas (I used frozen)
- 1 courgette
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 80g parsley
- 40g crème fraiche
- 20g parmesan
- 20g mint leaves
- salt and pepper
- 1 lemon
1.) Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C
2.) Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda into a bowl. (I found that the flour in the recipe was not enough so ended up adding one more handful at the end)
3.) Chop up the butter into cubes
4.) Rub the butter into the flour but like breadcrumbs as if you were doing a crumble, so you can still see bits of butter
5.) Measure out the milk and add the vinegar (this is my sub for buttermilk), Stir very briefly to combine.
6.) Flour a work surface, tip out the mixture, flour your hands and push it together. Try to work the dough as little as possible.
7.) Sprinkle the za’atar over the dough.
8.) Line a baking tray, cut up the dough into 8 pieces and place on top. You could make these a bit prettier by using a cutter but you’ll just be left with the edges that you’ll need to mix together again at the end and I would rather have light, fluffy scones that look a mess.
9.) Crack the egg into a bowl and beat. Brush the scones with the egg.
10.) Bake for 18 minutes until golden.
11.) For the soup, peel and chop up the garlic. Chop up the white parts of the spring onion.
12.) Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the whites of the spring onions and the garlic. Add some pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.
13.) In the meantime, slice up the green parts of the onion and chop up the courgette. Make up the litre of stock.
14.) Add the bay leaves and the green parts of the onion to the pan and cook for 10 more minutes.
15.) Add the peas and courgette and cook for another 5 minutes.
16.) Take out half the veggies from the saucepan and put to one side. Adding them back later will give the soup a nice texture.
17.) Chop up the mint and set to one side.
19.) Cover the vegetables with stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
20.) Grate the parmesan and measure out the crème fraiche. Zest the lemon.
21.) When the soup is done, remove the bay leaf, add the parsley and blitz with an immersion blender.
21.) Add back the set aside vegetables, warm up, then stir in the crème fraiche and parmesan
22.) Serve and garnish with lemon zest and mint leaves.