Versatile vegetable soup
Once you’ve made the tomato and onion base of this soup, you can add any vegetables you like. A mixture of root vegetables and green vegetables work well, added at different stages. You can even add leftover cooked vegetables or frozen vegetables.
- 2 tbsp oil (any cooking oil will do)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
- 250g/9oz root vegetables, such as carrots or parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced or cut into roughly 1cm/½in chunks
- 250g/9oz green vegetables, such as 1 courgette, halved and sliced, and 125g/4½oz green beans, trimmed and cut into three
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes, or until softened and very lightly browned, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds more, stirring.
Tip the tomatoes into the pan, add the tomato purée and oregano and simmer for 2–3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 1.2 litres/2 pints of water (you can fill the empty can of tomatoes with cold water three times so you don’t have to use a measuring jug) and crumble over the stock cube.
Bring the soup to a simmer, then add any vegetables you like. Add root vegetables first and cook for 10 minutes, before adding the raw green vegetables such as beans or courgettes and cook for 5 minutes. Cooked or frozen vegetables should be added for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Stir regularly and add extra water if needed.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in deep bowls topped with grated cheese if you like.
You can also add tiny pasta shapes, such as orzo, to the soup while simmering, to make it even more filling.