Spring Vegetable Soup
- 3 very small globe artichokes
- 5 oz young tender spinach
- 5 oz escarole
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 2 - 3 rashers smoked streaky bacon
- 3 1/2 floz dry red wine
- 1 1/4 lb young broad beans shelled
- 10 oz fresh peas or petits pois
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and black peppercorns
- thick slices of hot French or any crusty white, bread
- Trim and wash the vegetables. Remove the outer leaves of the artichokes and cut the remaining, inner parts lengthwise into thin slices.
- Unless you can pick your own or buy very fresh, baby artichokes, preferably the more tender varieties, it is best to use only the bottoms; otherwise leave them out of this soup; do not use tinned ones. You could substitute tender green asparagus tips.
- Shred the spinach and the escarole into a chiffonade. Chop the onion finely and cut the bacon into small dice.
- Traditionally this soup would be made in a flameproof earthenware cooking pot; use an enamelled cast iron casserole or a heavy-bottomed stainless steel saucepan.
- Fry the onion and bacon in 2 tbsp of the oil over a low heat, stirring, for a few minutes; when they are starting to brown, pour in the wine.
- Cook uncovered, until the wine has evaporated, add the beans and artichokes, stir briefly and then pour in 2 pints (1 1/2 litres) cold water; add 1 - 1 1/2 tsp salt and 5 black peppercorns.
- Bring to the boil over a moderate heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Add the peas and leaf vegetable chiffonade and simmer for 15-20 minutes more.
Calories: 378 kcal
Carbohydrates: 39 g
Protein: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Trans Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 12 mg
Sodium: 211 mg
Potassium: 1002 mg
Fiber: 14 g
Sugar: 5 g
Vitamin A: 3104 IU
Vitamin C: 37 mg
Calcium: 107 mg
Iron: 5 mg