This is my nourishing ‘go-to’ lunch of late. It only occurred to me today that for the last few Monday’s, I have made up a huge pot of this beautiful Italian inspired soup. Each batch has been unique as it is also a wonderful way to cook using the ingredients you might be craving as the weather cools as well as what you have on hand in your refrigerator drawers. It is also a perfect meatless Monday bowl of goodness and incredibly warming which is much needed today…..the thermometer in my office is still reading 4 degrees. I have on my feet the ugly ugg boots no one ever sees but me that I hide in my office (I am most grateful for said ugly ugg boots today) and I have a cardigan draped across my knees. You may call me ‘Nana Nellie’ if you please!
No formal recipe required here. Just get your big pot out, open your refrigerator drawers and go work some magic…..
Heat some olive oil in a heavy based pan. Add a diced onion and sauté for a few minutes. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and stir. Add 1 leek – washed and sliced as well as 2 diced carrots, 2 sticks of celery and stir for five minutes or until softened and smelling very aromatic. Add some cubed pumpkin and stir for a few minutes to soften. I then top up with 1-1.5 litres of stock (use half water if you prefer) and I add some shredded cabbage or spinach or kale (or all of the above if you happen to have a well stocked fridge or plentiful winter garden). Add some green beans as well as some rinsed tinned borlotti beans and let it do it’s thing for 10 minutes on a simmer. Season to taste and serve with lots of finely grated lemon zest on top.
You may like to serve this with crusty bread and if you fancy, some grated parmesan on top (although I prefer the simple lift of the lemon alone). If it were not #meatlessmonday, I sometimes add some shredded chicken….wild & crazy, I know!
So versatile. So nourishing. So warming. I hope you enjoy.