This vegetable soup has a delicate flavor, though it is a hearty soup, which is laden with vegetables. Using home-made stock is the best bet, but you can use a good-quality stock, which is chilled or from a powder or cube. If you are using a cube or powder, do not add salt at the beginning of your cooking. You may find out that these products give enough salty seasonings.
Ready in: 1hr 15min (Prep: 15min, Cook: 1hr)
- Sunflower oil – 1 tablespoon
- Small onion (chopped) – 1
- Small leek (thinly sliced) – 1
- Large carrot (thinly sliced) – 1
- Bulb of fennel (sliced) – 1
- Swede (cubed) – 225 g (8 oz)
- Potato (peeled and cubed) – 225 g (8 oz)
- Bay leaf – 1
- Several sprigs of fresh thyme
- Several sprigs of parsley
- Vegetable stock (preferably home-made) – 600 ml (1 pint)
- Chopped tomatoes – 1 can (about 400 g)
- Salt and pepper
- Snipped fresh chives or fennel leaves (from the bulb, above) for garnishing.
- Heat oil in a saucepan.
- Add onion and cook for five minutes, or until it softens but not browned. Stir occasionally while cooking.
- Add the fennel, swede, leek, carrot and potato, and then cook for extra 5 minutes or until it slightly softens.
- Tie the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and parsley sprigs together into a bouquet garni, and add to the pan. Do this together with the stock and tomatoes with their juices, and then season it to taste and bring to boil.
- Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 45 minutes or until the entire vegetables become tender.
- Then remove the garni and check the seasoning.
- Now sprinkle the soup with snipped fennel leaves (you can use chives) and serve piping hot.
- Serve with wholemeal bread or mixed-grain.