Spicy canellini beans, leeks and eggs

An alternative to the usual avocado on toast with poached eggs or spicy shakshuka, this wholesome take on traditional British baked beans (with extra spice and runny eggs) is an absolute must to start the weekend off well. Serve with toasted flat breads or sourdough and steaming hot coffee.


  • 105ml olive oil

  • 300g leeks (about 1-2), trimmed and finely sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped (pith and seeds removed if you prefer less heat)

  • 300g vine tomatoes (about 4) or if you're stuck (a tin of chopped tomatoes will do)

  • 10g coriander

  • 15g dill

  • 2 x 400g tins cannellini beans

  • 1½ tsp coriander seeds

  • ¾ tsp ground allspice

  • 1½ tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 tsp caster sugar

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice

  • 8 eggs

  • Toasted sourdough or flat breads, to serve


  1. Pour four tablespoons of the oil into a deep and wide pan (the kind you'd cook a risotto in) for which you have a lid, and put on a medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, fry the leeks, garlic and chilli, stirring occasionally, for seven minutes, or until softened.

  2. While the leeks are cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Roughly chop the tomatoes, coriander and two-thirds of the dill, and put in a large bowl. Drain the beans, discarding the liquid, and add to the bowl. Roughly crush the coriander seeds in a mortar.

  3. Stir the tomato mixture, spices, tomato paste, sugar, 375ml water, a teaspoon and a half of salt and plenty of pepper into the leek pan, bring up to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium and simmer for 12 minutes, crushing about half the beans with the back of a spoon, until the mix is thick and rich.

  4. Stir through the lemon juice, then make eight wells in the beans (the back of a dinner spoon is the ideal tool for this job). Crack an egg into each well, sprinkle over a little salt and pepper, and turn up the heat to medium-high. Cover and leave to cook for five minutes, or until the whites are cooked through and the yolks still runny.

  5. While the eggs are cooking, finely chop the remaining dill and put it in a bowl with the last three tablespoons of oil. Drizzle this over the cooked eggs and serve at once on toasted sourdough.

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