Chunky Vegetable Soup

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)
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 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.

Method

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan. 
  2. Add onion and cook for five minutes, or until it softens but not browned. Stir occasionally while cooking.
  3. Add the fennel, swede, leek, carrot and potato, and then cook for extra 5 minutes or until it slightly softens.
  4. 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.
  5. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 45 minutes or until the entire vegetables become tender.
  6. Then remove the garni and check the seasoning. 
  7. Now sprinkle the soup with snipped fennel leaves (you can use chives) and serve piping hot. 
  8. Serve with wholemeal bread or mixed-grain.

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