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Tired of eating the same old thing for supper? Why not try one of these delicious recipes from the Rustic cookbook by Jorge Fernandez and Rick Wells, the duo behind the hush-favourite Fernandez & Wells cafes...

In the beautifully photographed cookbook they reveal the secrets behind their cult breakfasts, lunches, cakes and their delicious supper repertoire. And we've got three DELICIOUS recipes to share with you here on the hush blog.

From great coffee and rustic sandwiches, to top-grade hams and cheeses, their philosophy is that it’s the simple things in life that are often the best. We couldn't agree more!

Onion soup

"We used to make this onion soup every so often at Lexington Street, but the industrial quantity of sliced onions required came at the cost of many tears and the smell seemed to permeate everyone’s clothes for days. Still, it remains a terrific recipe and something all of us make at home."

Serves 6


6 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons salted butter
10 large white onions, sliced
10 garlic cloves, peeled and
finely chopped
1 litre (34 fl oz) dry white wine
1 tablespoon dark muscovado sugar
2 litres (68 fl oz) chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Small bunch thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground
Black pepper
Day-old sourdough bread, to serve
Goats’ cheese (such a charolais, available from Mons at Borough Market), to serve (optional)


In a large saucepan, gently heat the olive oil, then add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the onions and garlic, and cook for 30 minutes or until the onions are soft and brown. They need to be well caramelised as this will give the soup its distinctive flavour.

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan gently heat the wine until it starts to bubble and simmer until it has reduced by about a third. This evaporates the alcohol, removing a harshness that can influence the taste of the final soup.

Sprinkle the sugar into the pan of caramelised onions, pour in the reduced wine and cook through for 5 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves and the thyme, and cook gently over a low heat for a further 20 minutes. Add the salt to taste and a good grind of black pepper.

Serve in warmed bowls with a chunk of sourdough baguette and a herby piece of dry goats’ cheese scattered into the bowls.

Beef with Prunes

Serves 4


6 tablespoons olive oil
1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) chuck steak, cut into chunks
2 white onions, peeled and sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 teaspoons ras el hanout
3 teaspoons ground coriander (cilantro)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
400 ml (13 fl oz) Rioja red wine
650 g (1 lb 7 oz) chopped tomatoes
500 ml (17 fl oz) water
Sea salt and freshly ground black
Pepper 150 g (5 oz) no-soak pitted prunes
½  bunch mint, finely chopped
½ bunch coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
Boiled or buttery mash potatoes, to serve

M E T H O D 

Heat 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil in a large high-sided, heavy-based frying pan (skillet). Brown the beef in batches over a high heat and transfer to a casserole.

Add another 1½ tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. Sprinkle over the spices and cook, stirring constantly, for another 3 minutes. Finally, add the chilli and cook for 2 minutes, then tip the contents of the pan into the casserole with the beef.

Pour the red wine into the pan to deglaze it, stirring the wine with a wooden spoon to make sure you get all the caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan, which are full of flavour. Reduce for 5 minutes then pour over the meat.

Add the tomatoes and water to the casserole. Season with 2 teaspoons of sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper, and stir the casserole once. Cover the casserole tightly with the lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours. Check from time to time that the dish is not drying out and if it looks like it is add a bit more water.

Remove from the oven and stir in the prunes and fresh herbs. Replace the lid and allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with boiled or buttery mash potatoes.


"This spicy cooked tomato and pepper salad is the Moroccan version of a dish found in various guises throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Ours comes thanks to Dee’s culinary adventures in Morocco, where it is a staple supper dish. As our cooked meals are designed around our grills, this comes served in an individual pan with an egg or two and crusty bread."

Serves 2


1 green (bell) pepper
1 yellow (bell) pepper
1 red (bell) pepper
150 ml (5 fl oz) olive oil
½ teaspoon ground coriander 
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 × 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons harissa paste (see page 225)
1 teaspoon soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
4 large eggs
Crusty bread, to serve

For the dressing

2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
75 ml (2 ½ fl oz) olive oil


Preheat the oven to 240°C (465°F/Gas 9). Mix together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jug and set aside.

Put all 3 peppers into a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 40 minutes until soft and ready to collapse. Alternatively, cook the peppers in a dry (don’t add any oil) griddle pan (ribbed skillet) on a very high temperature, turning the them frequently.

Transfer the peppers to a large plastic food bag, seal the bag to trap in the heat and leave for 15 minutes to loosen their skins. Remove the peppers from the bag then peel, halve and deseed them.

Pour the oil into a heavy-based, high-sided frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat. When hot, add the ground coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cumin and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the tomatoes, harissa, sugar and salt. Simmer gently over a low heat for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the peppers into 2 cm (¾ in) pieces. Add them to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Fold in the chopped coriander. Break the eggs into the taktouka; cover and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking – we like the whites cooked but the yolks still nice and runny.

Divide the taktouka between 2 plates, with 2 eggs each and drizzle over the dressing to finish. Serve immediately with some crusty bread.

'RUSTIC: Simple food and drink, from morning to night' by Fernandez & Wells, published by Hardie Grant. Photography by Helen Cathcart. 

Tags: comfort foodrecipes
Posted on 22nd October 2015 by Hush