This version is as true to the vegetable soup I grew up with, even though it sometimes came from a carton! It's a real bowl of comfort, particularly if you choose to add the seriously good rosemary croutons - they keep well in an airtight container and are also lovely added to a salad for flavour and crunch.

Ingredients

Serves: 6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 400g floury potatoes, diced
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 120g frozen peas
  • Good drizzle of double (heavy) cream
  • Good grating of fresh nutmeg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the croutons:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2-3 slices of white or sourdough bread, diced 

Method

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and leeks and cook for 10 minutes until softened down. Season well.
  2. Add the rest of the veggies and cook for a few minutes more, then pour in the stock. Season well and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook gently for 20 minutes until the veggies are all tender, adding the peas for the last few minutes. Spoon out one-third of the veggies with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Blitz the rest of the soup with a stick blender until smooth, then remove from the heat. Stir in the reserved whole veggies.
  4. To make the croutons, heat the oil and butter with the rosemary sprigs in a large pan. When hot, add the cubes of bread, toss well then cook for 5-6 minutes until golden and crisp on all sides. Season with sea salt.
  5. Add the cream to the soup and a good grating of nutmeg and serve with the rosemary croutons.

How to freeze
Allow to cool completely. Once cool, transfer to a sturdy freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost slowly in a pan over a low heat.