Seasonal vegetables are cooked in beef consommé with delicate Parma ham to make a fresh, nourishing and fuss-free soup. Accompany with Cheddar Chutney Pittas (page 53). Delicious!
Vary the vegetables according to what is in season. * For a vegetarian soup, use 900ml vegetable stock, omit the ham and add a 400g can Puy lentils or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, at step 3.
Make double the quantity of the basic vegetable soup (prepare up to the end of step 2). Freeze half and use within three months or chill for another day. If you like, make the second half into a minestrone soup (see right).
Zippy minestrone To the basic vegetable soup (at the end of step 2), add 55g short-cut macaroni or soup pasta shapes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then add 100g chopped fine green beans, 2 chopped plum tomatoes and a 300g can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed, at step 3 with the ham and cabbage. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese and a swirl of good olive oil and accompanied by Tapenade Toasts.