- 1 medium leek
Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 1 small potato weighing about 175g/6oz, peeled
The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…
- 1 stick of celery or half a small bulb of fennel
A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…
- 1 medium onion
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 50g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 4 sprigs of thyme stripped of their leaves or 2 pinches of dried thyme
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock (using a cube)
- 300ml milk
One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…
- 1 small head broccoli, trimmed into small florets, stalk discarded
Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…
- small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- 140g gruyère, coarsely grated
Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…
Wash and trim the leek, cut off and discard half the green top, then thinly slice. Peel and chop the carrot and potato into a small dice. Thinly slice the celery or fennel into bite-size sticks and dice the onion. The vegetables should all be of roughly the same size.
Heat the butter and oil in a medium pan and gently sweat all the vegetables, except the broccoli, with the thyme leaves for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then until softened, but not coloured.
Add the flour to the pan and stir for a minute until it all becomes pasty, then slowly stir in the stock. Bring to the boil, stirring until thick then add the milk, season well and reduce to a simmer.
Continue to simmer for 10 minutes, then add the broccoli florets and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until the broccoli is just cooked. When ready to serve, stir in most of the parsley, then ladle the hot soup into four bowls. Scatter each serving with the cheese and remaining parsley, for your diners to stir in. The gruyère will melt into strings, which is all part of its charm.