Meet : The Olive Club in Hertford

In between lockdowns (2 and 3, I believe) I got a chance to meet up with Hannah from the Olive Club, a supper club and takeaway service based just outside Hertford. I have not had a chance to go to a supper club in Hertfordshire, so I was longing to know how she created it. But also discuss what her plans were fro this summer.

I love the idea of supper club, it has such a different feel and ambience compared to normal restaurants. Going to a supper club in someone’s house and garden is just so appealing. Hannah is now allowed to resume her supper clubs (you can find the dates here). And I hope to give you a glimpse of the delicious experience that awaits.

Hannah is passionate about food. From all the cooking books, to all the courses she attended, she strives to learn more about techniques and flavours, and incorporate all her knowledge to the supper clubs. The Olive Club is inspired by the informality of a Ferme Auberge in rural France. Hannah loves cooking for people, and hosts in her beautiful home surrounded by the Hertfordshire countryside. It allows people to enjoy food in a relaxed atmosphere. In the summer, Hannah will host her supper clubs outside, making the most of the terrace overlooking the stunning fields.

Unsuprisingly I have already booked my place on one of the dates some of my friends could all make. I cannot wait to go back and taste another dish from Hannah. However if you cannot wait, she shared this simple and wholesome recipe with me whilst we did our shoot. I have made it again and again. I hope you will enjoy it.

You can read more articles and my photography of other cooks in Hertfordshire here.

Aromatic spicy Broth

Ingredients

For the broth

  • 1 stick of lemongrass, bruised
  • 4 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 1 red chilli chopped
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 Thumb size piece of ginger, bruised
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 800 ml stock

to top the soup

  • 2 nests of wholemeal egg noodles, or any noodles you like
  • 2/3 stalks of kale, taken off the stem and shredded
  • A few fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and sliced 
  • A handful of peanuts, chopped up a bit
  • 1 spring onion
  • Watercress
  • Beansprouts 
  • 1/2 lime
  • Toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  • Simmer the broth ingredients in the stock for at about 20 minutes until fragrant. 
  • Strain the broth and add back to the pan.
  • Add noodles if using and simmer until cooked.
  • Add kale or any tougher vegetables and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Serve broth into bowls and top with bean sprouts, watercress, sliced Chili, peanuts, fresh mint, spring onion and some lime juice and a few drops of toasted sesame oil.
  • You can add anything you have to this broth so it’s great for a fridge clear out!I like to simmer frozen gyoza in the soup but you could also add prawns, cooked chicken, wild rice.Lots of vegetables are good in this too such as green beans, mangetout , carrots, spinach, chard etc. Just simmer them for the appropriate time until they are cooked to your liking. 

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