Cabbage and Bacon Soup

This soup is a fridge raid: half a crinkly Savoy cabbage, a few rashers of bacon, a handful of peas from the freezer and an onion and garlic clove from the stores. I used pheasant stock, also from the freezer and although it gave the soup a noticeable gamey flavour, a chicken or veg stock cube will work just as well. Lemon zest, thyme and a finale of chopped flat leaf parsley are the icing on the cake. It goes down very well with garlicky bruschetta.

Serves 2, generously
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 35 min

1 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
4 rashers streaky bacon
½ Savoy cabbage
small bunch thyme
½ tbsp flour
5cm strip lemon zest
750ml stock
150g frozen or tinned peas, or tinned beans
handful flat leaf parsley
knob of butter

Halve, peel and finely chop an onion. Soften in 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium, lidded pan. Meanwhile, crack, peel and finely slice the garlic in rounds. Chop the bacon into scraps. Cut the hard core out of the cabbage, halve lengthways then halve the halves lengthways. Slice thinly across the pieces. Rinse and shake dry in a colander. Bundle the thyme with string or cotton. Stir garlic and bacon into the softening, lightly coloured onion and cook on, stirring occasionally, for a further 10 minutes or so until the bacon is crisping nicely. Stir in the flour, stirring until disappeared, add thyme, lemon zest and stock. Bring up to boiling, add the cabbage, turn down the heat and simmer briskly, poking the cabbage under the liquid until just tender. Add peas, heat through (add frozen peas slightly sooner). Add chopped flat leaf parsley leaves, knob of butter and serve.