From River Cottage Veg Everyday!, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Bloomsbury, 2011.
I read the River Cottage Summer Garden Soup recipe and, even though it was winter, I seemed to have most of the ingredients readily available so decided that it was worth giving it a try; I just couldn’t use its proper name.
There was a lot of chopping and preparing of the vegetables before beginning. Fennel, spring onions and celery were cut into small cubes and placed in large saucepan with olive oil and butter and sautéed for a few minutes.
While these were sautéing the other vegetables were prepared. Two zucchini were chopped into cubes. Broad beans were given a quick blanch to that the hard skins could be removed. Frozen peas were taken from the refrigerator. Some beetroot leaves were shredded finely, as also were some cos lettuce leaves. Some herbs were chopped finely: basil, parsley, chervil and the fine leaves from the fennel.
Once the vegetables were sautéed for about 10 minutes a litre of stock was added to the pot and it was brought to the boil. It boiled for about one minute and the zucchini, broad beans and green peas were added to cook for about 3 minutes. Now the lettuce and beetroot leaves were added and cooked for another minute. The chopped herbs went in next. It was ready.
The soup looked inviting on the plates with the variety of greens sitting in the broth. This was a delicately flavoured soup with the vegetables having a slight crunch to them. It felt that you were eating down health and enjoying it totally.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔