A vegetable delight – simple, a classic and giving you a chance to glow! And the blonde will love it – almost no calories!
Summer Vegetable Soup. One of the sweetest, most delicious light luncheons – serve with toasted crusty sour bread drizzled with olive oil.
A word about olive oil – always taste it, find out the ones you love, and use the best. My current favourite is “Lucini” an Italian extra virgin from Publix, a great supermarket in the South of the US – first cold press, peppery, very strong – I love it.
Now, the soup:
In a covered pot sweat for about 5 minutes:
- 1 dollop of olive oil
- 3 or 4 pieces of bacon cut into 1” pieces
- 1 onion chopped finely and 1 onion rough cut into 4
- 1 clove elephant garlic finely chopped
- 2 or 3 celery sticks plus leaves finely chopped.
- Then add 6 cups rich chicken stock*
- Add I tin Italian crushed tomatoes
- 2 slices Savoy cabbage thick cut and chopped
- I sweet potato peeled and chopped
- 1 parsnip peeled and chopped, or any other root vegetable that catch your eye.
- 4 new potatoes chopped into 4 pieces
- 1 small packet frozen peas and/or sweet corn.
Boil steadily for 30 minutes, taste for seasoning. Ideally let stand for a few hours then warm up again after the tastes have melded. Serve in large bowls with a sprinkling of fresh chopped herbs – sweet basil will be lovely – and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with a chilled Beaujolais or Rhone red. Really cool.
*It is time to deal with stock. In extremis use stock cubes, add some dry herbs and a dash of wine – but frankly that is pathetic. You want to dazzle and it is all about taste – nothing beats your own home made stock. So never pass up a carcass, hoard discarded bones, gizzards, add livers and bacon or ham scraps, cut off trimmings from cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, the remains of onions and garlics – include tops of celery, leeks, left over wine, and certainly an extra stock cube. Add handfuls roughly cut of whatever herb is fully out in the garden. Slow boil in a pot full of water, reduce to about a third over two hours, strain, taste and set aside to cool. Store in the deep freeze to astound and amaze your friends later.