Winter Vegetable Soup
Here is the Winter version of my easy vegetable soup: it really is the perfect lunch. Please don’t freak out at this ingredient list: it is just vegetables, stock, herbs, tomatoes and a handful of pasta. Use whatever vegetables you like; I literally use what I have to hand in the fridge. I freeze this too (without the pasta) and then defrost, warm through and add pasta until cooked): a useful and comforting freezer standby.
I use a Parmesan rind to flavour this soup, its totally optional but really adds depth of flavour, if cooking for bigger children or adults.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small leek
2 medium potatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Parmesan rind (optional but adds incredible flavour)
2 litres stock (chicken, or vegetable preferably homemade and if not no salt stock cube)
x1 tin (400g) plum tomatoes
handful of green beans, washed and cut into three
Prep all the vegetables (leek, parsnip, carrot, potato): wash, trim, peel (if necessary) and dice, or slice thinly.
Take a large pot and soften the onion in a little olive oil for 10 minutes until translucent: add the leek, carrot, parsnip and potato, cook for a further 5 minutes stirring so it doesn’t stick. Next add the aromatics: crushed garlic, dried oregano, thyme and Parmesan rind. These are all optional but they will add wonderful flavour to the finished soup. Finally add the plum tomatoes and stock, then bring up to the boil. It seems like a lot of liquid but the potatoes, pasta and Parmesan rind will really thicken the soup by the end of the cooking time.
Cook for 25 mins or until the potatoes are tender and the liquid has reduced a little. Add pasta and cook according to the packet instructions (mine took 10-12 mins), you want the pasta slightly al-dente as it will continue to cook as the soup sits off the heat. Finally add green beans for the last few minutes, or until just cooked.
Remove the Parmesan rind (if using) and bay leaf to discard. Serve in bowls with a grating of Parmesan and drizzle of good quality olive oil.