There’s nothing like a hearty, healthy soup when there’s a chill in the air and rain tapping on the roof. Dr Rupy Aujla knows a thing or two about what’s good for us and his Seasonal Soup with Red Pesto is one such delish elixir. It is just one of many inviting recipes from his new book, The Doctor’s Kitchen – Eat to Beat Illness (Thorsons). Give it a shot in your kitchen this season and help ward off the winter lurgies!

The simplest meals are often the most satisfying. Instead of having to remember complicated cooking steps and intricate techniques, you can focus on what’s important – flavour! This dish is incredibly versatile and straight forward, it delivers so much in the way of nutrition ,it’s exceptionally pleasing to the eye and is a perfect dish for the family.You can mix up the vegetables to suit your taste or depending on what’s in season.You’ll b eating the rainbow in no time.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely diced

3 carrots, finely diced

4 celery stalks ,finely diced

300g fennel bulb, finely diced

200 courgette, finely diced

800ml water

300g podded broad beans (fresh,tinned or frozen)

2 large tomatoes,cut into

3 cm cubes

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

15g Parmesan cheese, grated(or nutritional yeast flakes if you prefer a plant­ based soup), to serve

For the red pesto

25g fresh basil leaves

50m olive oil

1OOg sun dried tomatoes in oil,drained

1OOg roasted red peppers from a jar

2 garlic cloves

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium high heat and add all the vegetables, apart from the broadbeans and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have slightly caramelised. Boil the water and add it to the saucepan along with the broadbeans (you can add frozen ones as they are -no need to defrost first) and simmer for another 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not mushy. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further minute then take off the heat.

Put all the red pesto ingredients into a blender or food processor and blitz until nice and smooth.

Pour the soup into bowls, swirl the pesto in to the soup and sprinkle with a dusting of Parmesan for umarni flavour.

Variation

+ Swap the broad beans for canned cannellini beans or borlotti beans if you like.

Tip

+ Jarred red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes tend to have added salt so be mindful of this when seasoning during the cooking process.

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