Summer garden soup
- July 2019
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 30 min
Celebrate all things good, green and fresh from the garden with Gill Meller’s beautiful summery vegetable soup made with broad beans, fennel, new potatoes and lots of fresh herbs.
Want more? Use the most of seasonal veg in these summer soup recipes.
- Vegan recipes
- 9.2g (1.6g saturated)
- 10.8g (5.2g sugars)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for finishing
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved and diced
- 4 new potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 litre well flavoured vegetable stock
- 1 medium courgette, cut into 1cm cubes
- 2 large handfuls freshly podded broad beans
- 2 handfuls freshly podded peas
- 6 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 small lettuce, washed and shredded into 1-2cm pieces
- Large handful mixed fresh herbs, (such as mint, flatleaf parsley, basil, fennel tops or chives), leaves picked and chopped
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice
- Set a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil followed by the fennel and potatoes. Season them lightly and soften gently, without colouring, for 6-8 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a low simmer (see tip).
- Make sure your broth is simmering, then drop in the courgette, broad beans (see tips), peas and spring onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the shredded lettuce and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Stir in the herbs (see Gill’s tips) and season to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Ladle the soup into warm bowls, then add a trickle of your best olive oil just before serving.
Larger broad beans, especially those with a black eye, may be a bit tough. Blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes, then peel; inside they’ll be tender and sweet.
If you can find lovage, add a few chopped leaves for a herbal hint.
If you’ve got a parmesan rind (and aren’t vegetarian/vegan), add it to the simmering soup for an umami kick.
In a successful summer soup you should be able to taste the ingredients individually and as a harmonious bowlful. So it’s important to take care when you add the different vegetables, some of which need little cooking. New potatoes and fennel need to soften slowly to give depth to the soup. Peas, broad beans and lettuce only need a few minutes of simmering, so add those towards the end of the cooking time.
Fresh herbs, which transform this soup into something extraordinary, are added just before serving to help them retain their vibrant, zesty character.
Keep it light and easy with a dry, lemony and slightly peppery white such as picpoul de pinet or Italy’s gavi.
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