The variations to this soup are endless, use whatever is in season. Although not so colourful, it is even better re-heated and eaten the next day once the flavours have had time to develop. When reheating, you may need to add some more water or stock if it is too thick.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan pan and add the Hamlyns oatmeal. Toast until golden and smelling nutty, then add the onions and leeks. Cook gently for 10 minutes until beginning to soften. Chuck in the carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, herbs and water or stock, give it a good stir and bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile make the herb pesto. Put the garlic and herbs into a food processor and blitz, then add the olive oil in a slow steady stream and blitz until creamy. Season. Transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside.
Add the courgettes, green beans and peas to the soup and simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes until all the vegetables are very tender and the soup creamy. Taste and check the seasoning. Serve piping hot with a good blob of green herb pesto stirred into each serving. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.
Keeps for 3 to 4 days, tightly covered in the refrigerator.
Tip: Make a “green” version by using the usual base of onion, leek and
potato, and only green vegetables, including broccoli and spinach or even
shredded cabbage, spring greens or kale. Omit the tomato. Although you don’t
HAVE to use stock in this soup, vegetable, chicken or a light meat stock would make it richer. The pesto will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in a jar if covered by a layer of olive oil to keep out the air.