I love meat. The savoury snap of a shard of crackling, blood-red juices from a rare steak, a slice of roast chicken slathered with oniony, nutmeggy bread sauce. Sometimes I dream of bacon sarnies.
But recently, I’ve found myself veering towards a more vegetable-based diet. Look at the mushroom pate I blogged last week. There was a pile of veggie samosas and raita at the weekend. And today a big pot of vegetable broth. I fear I’ll become an accidental vegetarian.
To be fair, this is not very likely. In fact, one of my recent veggie triumphs was a delicious tortilla, made with sliced leftover potatoes and peas from our Mothers’ Day roast pork Sunday lunch. I also scarfed down the dripping from the pork, on toast. Yum.
Anyway, today I felt the need for soup – not a thick, warming soup but a light, bright, vegetable-packed broth. I raided the fridge-drawers-where-vegetables-go-to-die, added some bombproof Sutherland kale from the garden that’s survived every pest in the Northern hemosphere, and cooked it all up. Tasted it – not quite right – so I nipped up the Co-op for a cheeky courgette to dice and add. Perfect.
The key to success with this recipe is to spend some time dicing everything very finely. It’s not a thick soup made with mashed-up veg – you need the dice to stay separate to make the right texture. A spoonful of pesto at the end wouldn’t be a bad addition.
Spring vegetable broth
- 1 onion
- 1 medium potato
- 1 carrot
- 3 sticks celery
- Small bunch of kale or few leaves cabbage
- 1 courgette
- 2 tomatoes
- Generous handful beans (I used frozen soya beans because I wanted something green, but broad beans or canned haricot or any other would be fine)
- Parsley, fresh or dried
- Stock (light – vegetable or chicken), or stock cube and water
- Salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil to finish
Prepare all the vegetables as necessary and cut into small dice. Put in a large pan, add the beans, parsley and seasoning, cover with stock or water + stock cube, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour. Check the seasoning and serve with a drizzle of oil.
Delicious – the taste of spring in a bowl…