On autumn and winter days, what could be more pleasing than a delicious, healthy soup for lunch or dinner?
This one is easy to make in any tiny space and most welcome as the weather surrounds you. Vegan too!
This recipe is a basic veggie soup but the basil drizzle lifts it to the next level, so well worth making.
Portions: Up to 4 with a chunk of bread
Prep and Cook Time: Around 1 hour
Cookware: A large soup/pasta pan and a mini chopper for the basil oil
- 1 large leek – cleaned and finely sliced
- 2 echalion (long) shallots – diced
- 1 garlic clove – finely diced
- 1 large carrot – cut into semi-circles
- 4 new potatoes or 1 large potato – cut into approx 1cm cubes
- 600ml veggie stock (1 cube) plus extra hot water to thin soup
- 75g quick cook grains (farro, barley, spelt) or similar
- 75g frozen peas
- pinch chilli flakes
- dried herbs or fresh woody herbs, to taste (I used 2 bay leaves in this batch)
- salt, to taste
Heat a tbsp oil in the saucepan and on a low heat, slowly sauté (sweat the leek) until soft but not browned. After 10 minutes, add the shallot, garlic and gently cook until ‘melting’ together for about 5 minutes. Do not brown.
Next, add the carrot and potatoes, stir well and sauté for a minute before adding the grains and hot stock. Now add the chilli and herbs, of choice. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes, covering your saucepan.
Whilst the soup is cooking, you’ve time to make the basil oil:
- a handful (5g) basil leaves
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 garlic clove (to taste)
- pinch of salt
- pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
Pop all ingredients into a mini chopper and pulse until you have a smooth drizzle. Check seasonings.
The oil will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. It’s delicious drizzled over warm salmon or roasted veggies.
- 20g pinenuts – dry toasted
- 20g parmesan – grated
Keep an eye on the soup, with an occasional stir. Add a little more water, as it becomes thick and grainy, to achieve the consistency you prefer. After 20 minutes and all the ingredients are cooked, add the peas and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
You can serve immediately or remove from the heat and allow it to sit until you’re ready to eat.
Into warmed bowls with a drizzle of basil oil and a chunk of bread. Tasty extras are a sprinkle of grated parmesan (or vegan alternative) and toasted pinenuts.
Enjoy as much as I do!
If you have any leftovers and your soup has thickened overnight, just add a little veggie stock or water and season to taste. Reheat very well but do not boil.