Chunky Vegetable Soup with Rosemary and Lemon

I had a taste of my own medicine this morning; a message from a friend saying she’d been making chunky vegetable soups with richly flavoured chicken stock immediately got me cooking. I was just on the point of freezing two cartons of jellied chicken stock made with bones and debris from Sunday’s roast chicken, so perfect timing. My veg supplies were low, an onion, a few new potatoes, frozen peas, but a lone carrot and leftover broad beans were just the job. Little flakes of lemon zest and rosemary from the garden lifted the flavours and a garnish of flat leaf parsley gave pretty (a strange American way of putting it). Do try it.

Serves 2, generously

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 35 min

1 onion

1 tbsp olive oil

6-8 small new potatoes

4cm sprig rosemary

1 carrot

1 lemon

1 dsp flour

600ml chicken stock

150g frozen peas

handful of fresh or frozen broad beans (if possible)

few sprigs flat leaf parsley

  Halve, peel and chop the onion. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium, lidded pan, stir in the onion and cook gently while you scrape, chunk and rinse the potatoes. Strip the leaves off the rosemary stalk and chop finely – I always take care to do this since I got one of those spines lodged like a splinter beside a tooth. Remove the zest of half the lemon in wafer-thin scraps (they will be in the prized mouthfuls).  Scrape the carrot and cut into batons and then into small dice. Stir rosemary and lemon zest into the sloppy onion, then stir in the flour, stirring until disappeared – it will ‘hold’ the veg and stop the pieces sinking to the bottom when the soup is done. Add the stock, increase the heat and stir as it comes to simmer, adjust the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the carrots and potato. Partially cover the pan and simmer briskly, adding the peas after 5 minutes. Add salt to taste and the broad beans if including. Simmer for a couple of minutes to cook the beans. Serve now or later with a garnish of finely chopped parsley.