Category Archives: Our Foodie Posts

Real Welsh Preserves – Welsh Jams, Marmalades & Chutneys

Here at Crafty Dog Towers, in our own little kitchen, we make a range of amazing flavours, both sweet and savoury. We don’t ask others to make products for us – it’s all home-made, and mostly to our own recipes, or if not ours it’s from a traditional recipe with that Crafty Dog tweak.

Beautiful fresh Conference Pears

Take our stunning Pear & Apple Chutney here; we ripen fresh pears and apples, then hand-peel, and cut them, and cook them with our blend of spices and vinegars to make a beautiful fruity chutney. All our preserves are cooked in a traditional maslin pan in small batches, usually of 24 jars but at a maximum of 34 jars. We take time and care to cook these fruits down to just the point when they are soft and juicy, or rich and tangy and ready for jarring up.

Let the chopping begin!

We even design our own labels, a different colour for each variety, which makes a fantastic display on the shelf. And we are still a 5 Star Food Safety Rating.

All Chopped and Just Starting to Cook

You can’t beat a Crafty Dog Jam, Chutney or Marmalade!

The finished chutney

Crafty Dog Chilli Bean (and Bacon Soup) Recipe

We have had many requests for Mrs Crafty Dog’s Chilli Bean Soup recipe. This is the version with bacon but it also makes an excellent vegetarian soup by omitting the bacon and Worcestershire sauce.


3 rashers smoked back bacon – cut into lardons (small pieces)
1 tablespoon oil (olive or rapeseed) to fry in.
1 large white onion (finely chopped)
1 garlic clove (crushed and grated)
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder (or add fresh chopped chillis if you wish)
1 sweet red pepper cut into chunky dice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
500 mls vegetable stock (we used vegetable Oxo)
400g can of mixed beans drained and rinsed
(or use a mix of whatever beans you prefer – edamame beans, chickpeas, sweetcorn, peas, haricot beans, flageolet – whatever you like)
1 stick of celery chopped into 1cm chunks
A good splash of Worcestershire sauce
Sea Salt
Ground Black Pepper or ground mixed pepper

Heat the oil in a large stock/soup pan or deep saucepan, add and fry the onions gently until softened. Add the garlic, then the bacon and fry until the bacon colours – a couple of minutes should be fine).
Add the stock and other ingredients.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 45mins or so until the peppers are tender.
Season with the salt and pepper – add as much as you prefer.

For a vegetarian version, leave out the bacon and Worcestershire sauce.

You can adapt this recipe by changing the pulses, the amount or type of peppers, even the type of meat. I guess it would work with chopped sausage – chorizo would be fab).

Serve with a grating of hard cheese or finely sliced cheddar and a nice crusty bread.


Mrs Crafty Dog