French Vegetable Soup

This elegant combination of fresh spring vegetables, cooked together then added to a rich tomato-flavored broth, makes a hearty soup that will serve as a main course for lunch or supper.

Number of servings : 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: Ready in under 30 minutes

Type of meal : | Soups | Soups

Special diet :


2 tablespoons (25 g) butter
2 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1can (28oz / 796 ml) chopped tomatoes
13⁄4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
Salt and black pepper
1⁄2 lb (230 g) baby new potatoes
12 baby or 4 small carrots
6 large radishes
31⁄2 oz (100 g) snow, or sugar, peas
12 asparagus tips
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) light cream
8 large basil leaves
To garnish
Parmesan cheese or mature Cheddar, optional


  1. Put a kettle of water on to boil. Heat the butter very slowly in a large saucepan. Peel and chop the garlic and shallots, add them to the butter and fry gently for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, stock, dried basil, and some salt and pepper to the pan. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, scrub and quarter the potatoes, put them into a second saucepan, and cover well with the boiling water from the kettle. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and boil gently.
  4. Trim, scrub, and halve the baby carrots or, if you are using larger ones, peel them and cut into 1in. (2.5cm) chunks. When the potatoes have been cooking for 5 minutes, add the carrots.
  5. Trim and rinse the radishes, then dice them and add them to the carrots and potatoes. Rinse the asparagus tips and rinse, trim, and halve the snow, or sugar, peas and add them.
  6. Cook the vegetables for a total of 10–12 minutes or until they are just tender. Meanwhile, grate the cheese, if using, and set aside.
  7. Drain the vegetables and add to the tomato stock. Stir in the cream. Rinse, tear, and add the basil leaves.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the soup immediately, passing the grated cheese separately to sprinkle over the top, if using.

Variations: Add some cooked chicken for a delicious chicken and vegetable stew.

Nutritional information: