Fresh and a bit wild looking this soup–adapted from a recipe in The New York Times–for the first day of March.
You build most winter vegetable soups from the inside out—i.e. making a “soffrito” of finely chopped vegetables such as onion, celery and carrot, cooked slowly in olive oil, before adding stock—the taste “engine room” for a big winter-warming blanket.
But it’s March 1st today, so I’m lightening up a little–starting with plain water, not stock, adding the ingredients in stages, building the taste and depth gradually.
The lemon zest topping—sprinkled just before serving— is a touch of Spring.
Bring the water to the boil and add the first eight ingredients.
- 2 pints water
- 3 tsp salt–more to taste
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 an onion–(for the taste)
- 2 bay leaves
- sprig of rosemary
- 1 lb tinned (canned) chickpeas
- a small piece of parmesan rind (optional)
- 3 garlic cloves–pulped
Bring back to a simmer and cook, covered, on a low heat for 30 minutes.
- 3 carrots–peeled and sliced
- 3 sticks celery–chopped
- 1/2 small cabbage–sliced and roughly chopped
Add the sliced vegetables and bring back to a simmer.
Cook, covered, for a further 30 minutes.
During this second half hour of simmering, prepare the parmesan mix for sprinkling.
Mix the three topping ingredients and sprinkle over the soup before serving.