Spring vegetable broth

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.

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Veggie samosas and raita

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.

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Tortilla with potatoes and peas

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.

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Bombproof Sutherland kale

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…

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