This is based on a recipe I saw in a French issue of Elle magazine, and it really does work. The soup serves as the liquid for the batter but also delivers lots of extra flavour. And it’s a great way to use up bits of cheese. Use any soup – or even stock – but if it’s chunky, blitz to a purée first in a blender or food processor.
The amount of soup you need to add depends on how thick yours is. Stir in just enough to make a thick batter that falls easily off the end of a spoon. If you have more than specified in the recipe, just scale up the rest of the ingredients. Or freeze the extra soup for another time.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
4 large muffins
120g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
about 120ml leftover soup (more or less, as needed)
50g strong cheese (cheddar, Comté, Gouda), grated
a small handful of fresh herbs, chopped (optional)
1 spring onion, finely
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4 and line 4 holes of a large muffin tray with paper cases or baking paper.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and garlic powder (if using) together with a fork, along with ¼ tsp fine sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
Add the oil and egg, and stir. Then add enough of the soup to make a fairly thick batter.
Stir in the cheese and, if using, the herbs and spring onion. Add a splash more soup if the batter is too thick.
Distribute between the muffin cases and bake for 25 minutes, until golden. These are delicious served warm.
Adding a small handful of seeds – sunflower, nigella or poppy seeds work beautifully – to the batter with the cheese.
Whisking a teaspoonful of spice into the flour mixture, such as cumin, paprika, curry powder or garam masala.
You can use leftover stock in the muffins. I’ve even used a wine and tomato braising liquid left over from slow cooking a shoulder of lamb, with excellent results.
Recipe from Second Helpings by Sue Quinn (Quadrille, £18.99)