This week for our recipe, we had a chat with Max, Gabby’s other half and co-owner of Basil and Tom’s to get his top tips on making great vegetable soup out of leftovers. Max is well-known in his family for making amazing soups and being able to use up those leftover bits of veg that would usually stump us.

Max, where do I start if I want to make a good veg soup?

The most important thing about a soup is the base. I always start by creating a base of onions, carrots, garlic and celery. The quantities of each can vary depending on your preference, or what you have available, but that combination of veg is key to making a good base.

Then what? Can I just throw everything else in with some water?

After making the base, pretty much anything goes. I wouldn’t usually just throw in any random vegetables though. If I can, I always try and put the veg I have leftover into groups, roots together, leafy greens and pulses together, tomatoes and peppers etc. Then I’ll choose one of those groups as the main flavouring for the soup. Leftover cooked vegetables works just as well as raw forgotten about ones, and doesn’t require as long to cook.

Are there any secret ingredients you would put in?

Not a secret ingredient but I always make sure to use some good quality stock. You can just use water, but it would need a lot more seasoning.

And to finish the soup?

When all the veg is soft I would take a little bit out of it to blend before pouring back in. This thickens the soup up and gives it a creamy texture; but you can also just use a hand blender in the pot. Add a few chilli flakes, a tin of cannellini beans and finish with parsley or thyme or both. Parsley and thyme are my favourites.