One of my fondest childhood memories are watching my mother constantly washing and chopping vegetables in the kitchen. Particularly her love affair with her chopping board was intriguing and almost obsessive.
Large bags of radicchio, carrots, potatoes, peas and courgettes fresh from the garden would keep coming in and almost systematically placed on the kitchen table ready to be washed and prepared. Just no different to a vegetable factory.
And a table covered in rough and earthy veg was almost part of a daily routine. I knew that just by magic they would soon be transformed and turned into fantastic minestrone and exceptionally tasty soups of all kinds. Very quickly the house would be infused with a distinctive homemade and intense smell of cooked fresh vegetables, that smell was a “mamma” perfume which you can easily end up carrying for the rest of your life. I certainly will!
You might think an Italian eats pasta most days of the week but you’d be surprised how vegetable soups rank high on the Italian top food charts.
On this occasion I have made good use of my friend Anastasia’s fresh vegetables. She kindly gave me a bag of them and I took the opportunity to make another of Michael Caines recipes. A leek and potato soup.
And from mother to daughter, here I am chopping vegetables away in my kitchen. It is like a mantra!
Just make sure you don’t overcook the tuna. Put it on a hot pan for a couple of minutes each side with little olive oil and don’t cook it all the way through. You want to see a pink colour in the middle.
I have put the tuna on the side to be enjoyed with the soup or afterwards with some rustic bread.
After cooking the soup I have added olive oil instead of butter and only a touch of cream at the top and sprinkled with chopped chives.
And here you have a tasty, healthy and nutritious soup!