We love Anna Jones. The renowned veg master is my neighbour + friend and couldn't be more filled with life, love and good vibes. Her new book, One Pot, Pan + Planet comes out today and we couldn't be more excited. "One" is her fourth book where she connects simple, one pot/pan cooking with sustainable practices. And of course, with flavour and deliciousness front and centre.
Here we pick her brain on spring, detox and her favourite, simple smoothie recipe.
What is your favourite spring vegetable?
It’s a hard one to call – but I think its peas. I love them in their pods, something so satisfying about popping them out and a fun thing to do with kids. In Italy they are eaten as a starter – just a big bowl of pods and a hunk of pecorino. My kind of food. In case you are interested I think second place would go to squash (specifically Delica) and third to cavolo nero.
What is inspiring you right now?
After nearly a year of being at home inspiration is coming in more subtle forms. I feel inspired by my friends and my local community. I feel inspired by books – recently Zadie Smith’s Initmations and Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend. By music I have been loving delving into my friends playlists and I’ve been listening to lots of modern piano as I work – Chilli Gonzales Solo Piano I and II have been on repeat.
Any tips for a simple, at-home, spring table setting?
I think spring is all about the first shoots, the first flowers and the splashes of green and colour we begin to see so I would bring that onto my table. I adore mimosa so I would have little sprigs of that in bud vases dotted around the table - the heady smell and sunshine-y yellow. I’d use a light linen and some of my fav SZ napkins for hit of cheering colour.
Sum up your new book in 5 words!
Simple, Sustainable, Flavour-forward, Joy and Deliciousness
Ginger green smoothie
If you find mornings hard, as I do, you can load up your blender with all the ingredients the night before and keep in the fridge for blitzing first thing.
Prep 15 min
1 pear or apple, roughly chopped
1 small thumb ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
½ avocado, scooped out, or ½ banana, peeled
1 sprig mint, leaves picked
2 large handfuls spinach, washed
Juice of ½ lemon
250ml cold water
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz smooth. Add a little more water if it’s too thick. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for later in the day.
Tomato, miso and sesame soup
This soup comes together in the time it would take for you to nip down the shops for a tin of cream of tomato, but it is much more satisfying and full of goodness. It is a clean, fresh tomato soup – the quick cooking keeps the flavour perky and bright. I add miso and tahini here, which are two of my favourite partners for tomatoes, the earthy creaminess of the tahini and the deep saltiness of the miso backing up the clean tomato flavour like a dream. In the winter, when fresh tomatoes aren’t at their best, you could use two 400g tins of tomatoes and forget the fresh ones. I have suggested a quick topping to take this soup to the next level in flavour terms. If you are really pushed for time, some chopped coriander would suffice.
4 spring onions
coconut or olive oil
500g vine tomatoes
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons miso paste (I use a dark barley miso)
1 tablespoon tahini
FOR THE TOPPING
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon miso paste
the juice of a lemon
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
a small bunch of fresh coriander
Fill and boil a kettle and get all your ingredients and equipment together. Put a large pan on a low heat.
Working quickly, chop the spring onions and add to the pan with a splash of coconut or olive oil. Turn up the heat to medium and stir from time to time for a couple of minutes until beginning to brown. Chop the fresh tomatoes in half, bigger ones into quarters, and once the spring onions have had a couple of minutes, add them to the pan. Add the tinned tomatoes, fill the can with boiling water and pour this in too, then add the miso paste and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Mix the honey, tahini, miso and lemon juice in a bowl and put to one side. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan until golden and chop the coriander.
Once the soup has come to the boil, it’s done. Take it off the heat, add the tahini and blitz well with a hand-held blender, adding a little more salt if needed. It should be well balanced between the sweetness of tomatoes, the salty depth of miso and the creamy earthiness of tahini. Ladle into four bowls and top with the miso and honey mix, the sesame seeds and some chopped coriander.