A hearty, filling and nutritious soup that is sure to warm the cockles of the hardest hearts. Great especially on chilly winter nights. Use whatever vegetables are available, but be sure to have carrots, potatoes and/or pumpkin to produce the characteristic flavour and colour. Ideal for vegetarians especially if using vegetable stock.
Heat butter and oil in pot, add leek and ginger, saute till leek has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the other vegetables, bay leaves if using and stock, bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer with the lid on for about 25 minutes or till veggies are fork-tender.
Remove bay leaves, take pot off the stove and puree the mixture with stick blender to smooth consistency. Return pot to stove, add mixed herbs, paprika, salt and pepper. Season to taste. Add chives or spring onions if using. Serve soup hot with crusty bread or croutons on top.