One of Everything Soup

This is a painter’s palette of colours and flavours, a forgiving soup with each mouthful slightly different. Cous cous thickens the broth, in turn thick with carrot, red onion, leeks, spinach and tomato, the whole flavoured with garlic, ginger and chilli. It gets its name because it’s really fridge clear out soup, the one of this and one of that that needs to be eaten up. That’s how our cooking is at the moment, making the most of what we’ve got and making do. If you have leftover roast chicken, add that at the end of cooking to turn this into more of a complete meal.

Serves 4

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 35 min

1 large red onion

1 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove

knob of ginger

1 leek

1 large carrot

½ tbsp flour

pinch dried chilli flakes

1.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock

2 tbsp/50g cous cous

1 tomato

handful of young or frozen spinach

Halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a spacious, lidded pan and stir in the onion. Cook gently, stirring often while you prepare everything else. Peel and thinly slice the garlic in rounds, peel the ginger and cut into small scraps. Split the leek lengthways, hold the pieces together and slice thinly into half moons. Agitate in cold water and drain. Scrape/peel the carrot, quarter lengthways and slice in thin pieces. Stir leeks, garlic, ginger and chilli into the onion, add a generous pinch salt, stir again, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, stirring until absorbed by the juices then add the stock. Increase the heat, stirring as it comes to the boil then add cous cous and carrot. Establish a steady simmer, half cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes until the carrot is tender. Meanwhile, pour boiling water over the tomato, count to 40, drain, quarter, remove skin and chop. Shred the spinach. Just before serving, add spinach and tomato. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Done.