Rustic Comfort Soup with Basil Oil Drizzle

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.

Optional toppings

  • 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.