French vegetable soup
Fresh spring vegetables, cooked together then added to a rich tomato-flavoured base, makes a hearty soup that will serve as a light main course for lunch.
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2 cloves garlic
3 x 400g tins of diced tomato, with their juice
1¾ cups (440ml)chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and black pepper
200g baby new potatoes
12 baby or 4 small carrots
6 large radishes
12 asparagus tips
100g sugar snap peas or snow peas
2 cups cream
1/3 large basil leaves
To garnish: Parmesan cheese or mature Cheddar, optional
- Heat the butter very slowly in a large saucepan. Peel and chop the garlic and shallots, add to the butter and fry gently for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes and their liquid, the stock, dried basil, and some salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile boil water in a second saucepan, scrub and quarter the potatoes, put into the boiling water and bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and boil gently.
- Trim, scrub and halve the baby carrots or, if you are using larger carrots, peel and cut into 2.5-cm chunks. When the potatoes have been cooking for 5 minutes, add the carrots to the saucepan.
- Trim and rinse the radishes, then dice and add to the carrots and potatoes. Rinse the asparagus tips and trim and halve the sugar snap peas or snow peas; add both to the saucepan.
- Cook the vegetables for a total of 10–12 minutes or until they are just tender. Meanwhile, grate the cheese, if using, and put aside.
- Drain the vegetables and add to the tomato stock. Stir in the cream. Tear and add the basil leaves.
- Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, passing the grated cheese separately to sprinkle over the top, if using.
Add some shredded cooked chicken or turkey to make a delicious poultry and vegetable stew.
NUTRIENTS PER SERVING:
good source of vitamins A, B group, C, E and folate.
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