Ham and vegetable soup
- First prepare all your veggies: Crush the garlic, chop the chilli, slice the shallots, dice the courgette, cut all the florets from the broccoli and cut them into small pieces.
- Cut the asparagus spears off at the tip so you have 3cm approx size nice tips and then finely slice the rest of the spear down into little rounds until you reach the tough woody part. Throw that bit out.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds. Then cut the quarters into quarters again. Wash the lettuce and shred it.
- Measure out your wine for the soup and another nice glass for yourself.
- Put the olive oil into a nice heavy bottomed pot and heat it tomedium. Add in the bacon/ham/pancetta and get that cooking. It doesn't want to be brown and crispy. Just sweated and aromatic. If you want a veggie soup just skip this step and start with the shallots instead.
- Next add the shallots, garlic and chilli to the pot and cook until all is sweated down and cooked but not brown.
- Add the wine and cook until the wine has stopped smelling really alcoholic and it's evaporated by half. Now add the tomatoes, stir and cover the pot. Turn down to low and cook until the tomatoes go all scuffed up looking.
- Keep drinking the wine. It helps pass the time.
- Now add in the diced courgette, brocoli, asparagus and crumble in the stock cube. Stir and cover the pot and allow everything to steam until the veggies are 3/4 cooked.
- Now add the hot water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the peas, lettuce and herbs. Bring back to a boil. Season to taste and serve ladled into big bowls.
- Feel better.
- Serve with a delicious homemade bread like this wholemeal beer bread
- I got parma ham trimmings at my local supermarket meat counter. Ask. They have offcuts. If not you could use lardons, pancetta or bacon.