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Tray Chic

Asparagus and Spinach soup with a Poached Egg


The Tray Chic series of recipes and movie recommendations comes to us from the brother and sister team Charlie and Milly Hibbert, from Cotswolds’ gem, Thyme.  Milly has chosen the movies and dressed the trays with Bertioli by Thyme linens, all designed by their mother (Thyme’s founder, Caryn). Charlie – who’s in charge of all things food at Thyme’s Ox Barn – has put together these quick, simple and delicious recipes.

Movie Recommendation

To celebrate the art in this issue, we’ve chosen Frida, the 2002 biopic about the complex and tempestuous artist Frida Kahlo, her husband Diego Rivera, and the demons, dysfunctions, and passions she encounters throughout her life in Mexico City. The film is high octane and carries an extraordinary performance by Salma Hayek in the title role. To accompany this, Charlie’s asparagus soup is ultra-seasonal and devourable and can – for the most part – be made in advance. We recommend serving it with a hunk of warm crusty sourdough.

Charlie Hibbert’s Asparagus and Spinach soup with a Poached Egg

The month, we’re spending more time outdoors and, with that, goes the feeling of communing with nature and restoring balance. And, on the theme of wellbeing, we’ve recently added The Botanical Breathing Bothy to The Meadow Spa at Thyme. This calming indoors, incorporating ergonomic resin-poured, warmed treatment “benches”, spills out onto a peaceful garden, complete with hot baths, running water and soul-nourishing greenery that leave you completely replenished and ready to take on the everyday again. More soul-nourishing greenery here, this time served up in a bowl.

Serves 6-8 (keeps well in the fridge)


  • A knob of butter
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 bunches asparagus (you could also use young nettles)
  • 600g spinach, picked and washed
  • Sea salt flakes & freshly cracked pepper
  • A little olive oil to serve
  • 4 whole eggs
  • A splash of white wine vinegar


  • Roughly chop the onion, celery, potato, and garlic. Melt a knob of butter in a large pot over a medium heat and sweat the vegetables with the lid on for around five minutes.
  • As they start to cook, cover twith water and allow the pot to come up to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft – around 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and roughly chop. Add to the soup mixture for the final five minutes of cooking.
  • Once cooked through, stir in the spinach, season and blend until silken.
  • Pass the soup through a fine mesh sieve and set aside.
  • Bring a small pot of water with a splash of white wine vinegar to a simmer. Gently crack each egg into a cup and tip into the water. Allow the eggs to cook for three minutes, then gently lift out of the water and let them drain on a piece of kitchen paper.
  • Ladle a portion of soup into waiting warm bowls and float a poached egg in the centre.
  • Dress with a smattering of olive oil and a crack of pepper.


The wild primrose print is a celebration of the simple beauty of these humble flowers. The modest and delicate pale-yellow wild English primrose is one of the first flowers of spring and has incredible staying power. They spread freely and generously, informing us the winter days are over and warmer times lie ahead. The vibrant colours of the soup and Bertioli primrose linen in this trayscape give hope for the future. Bertioli’s range of linen placemats, tablecloths, napkins and other adornments is available from Thyme or if you can’t get to Southrop to have a look,


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