Vegetable and herb soup


  • 150g/5oz unsalted butter
  • 25g/1oz shallots, finely chopped
  • 35g/1½oz leeks, very finely chopped
  • 50g/2oz celeriac, very finely chopped
  • 50g/2oz carrots, very finely chopped
  • salt
  • 50ml/2fl oz white wine
  • 500ml/18fl oz water
  • 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock (vegetarians may substitute with vegetable stock)
  • 50g/2oz courgette, very finely chopped
  • 50g/2oz French beans, very finely chopped
  • 50g/2oz fresh peas
  • 50g/2oz Savoy cabbage, very finely chopped
  • 110g/4fl oz double cream
  • 50g/2oz tomatoes, blanched, skins and seeds removed, very finely chopped
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped roughly
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sorrel
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh chervil
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ tsp caster sugar


  1. Melt 25g/1oz of the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots, leeks, celeriac and carrots and a pinch of salt and gently fry for 4-5 minutes, until softened, but not coloured.

  2. Add the white wine and bring to the boil. Cook to reduce the liquid completely, then add the water and chicken stock and bring back to the boil.

  3. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, then add the courgettes, French beans, peas and cabbage and simmer for a further five minutes.

  4. Add the cream and whisk in the remaining butter.

  5. Add the tomatoes and the herbs. Stir well, and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and the caster sugar.

  6. To serve, pour into warmed bowls.