Today is one of those rare days when the weather is worse in France than it is in England. It's simply chucking it down. Cue soup for lunch.
A quick raid on the fridge reveals some outer leek leaves I'd felt moved to save for an occasion like this, some celery (with a lot of leaves which is good) and some chopped serrano ham (like bacon bits or lardons). That looked a bit insubstantial so I also unearthed a large tin of flageolet beans thinking I could use half for the soup and half with tonight's supper of leftover roast lamb.
I simply fried the serrano ham in olive oil for a few minutes (could have used chopped streaky bacon), added the chopped leeks and celery and a pinch of dried thyme and cooked them slowly with the lid on the pan for about 7 or 8 minutes. I then added half the tin of beans - drained and rinsed - and about 600ml vegetable stock made with an organic (but as it turns out rather over-salty) stock cube. However hadn't added any extra salt so OK.
Once that was cooked (another 7-8 minutes) I chucked in a handful of chopped celery leaves and tasted it. Quite a predominant bitter celery note which needed correcting - with what? Diced fresh tomato, ideally, or a dash of passata but none to hand so in went a small squirt of ketchup (I don't want you to think I'm obsessed with ketchup - it's just an ingredient you generally have to hand if there have been kids anywhere in the vicinity.) Worked anyway along with plenty of freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to serve. Could have scattered over some freshly grated parmesan if I'd had some.
When I thought about it afterwards I realised what I'd created was a two vegetable minestrone which you have to admit sounds a lot nicer than leftover vegetable soup . . .