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This chunky summer soup with light flavours from lemon zest and basil, uses the best local, seasonal veg, and is delightful to eat on a sunny afternoon and equally comforting for those days when the British summer feels more like mid-winter.

Benefits: Soups are a great way to get a broad spectrum of nutrients in one pot. Pulses provide the protein source and the summer vegetables provide us with fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Fresh watercress is full of Iron, folate and vitamin C.


1 onion chopped into fine cubes

2 sticks of celery chopped into fine cubes

2 carrots chopped into fine cubes

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 large potato or 3 small chopped into small cubes

1 courgette sliced lengthways and into semi-circles 

1 handful peas/ beans/ broad beans

50g watercress

200g beans (cannellini/ borlotti)

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed)

1-ltr veg or chicken stock (2 cubes)

50g parmesan

A handful of basil

zest of 1 lemon


Optional extra: 50g pancetta/bacon



  • In a large saucepan, sweat onions with carrots celery (and bacon if using) with a little olive oil on medium heat for 10 mins.

  • Add lemon zest and garlic, stir in for 1 minute.

  • Then add stock, rinsed quinoa and potatoes

  • Bring to boil, turn down to simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.

  • Fry the courgettes in a dry frying pan until lightly browned.

  • Add beans, peas, and courgettes and half the basil to the soup and once the soup comes back to simmer, remove from heat, 

  • Adjust seasoning and top each plate with a handful of watercress, shaved parmesan, and cracked pepper.

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