Minorcan Vegetable Soup

Minorcan Vegetable Soup is a soup in which a subtle blend of Spanish and French cuisine is achieved. Serve it on its own followed by a crisp green salad and a selection of cheeses, for an appetizing supper.

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 large onions, coarsely chopped

2 leeks, white part only, chopped

2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped

8 oz. tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped

1 large red pepper, white pith removed, seeded and cut into strips

2 pints water

1 small cabbage, outer leaves removed and shredded

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 slices of brown bread

2 garlic cloves, crushed and mixed with

2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and fry it, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions, leeks

Minorcan Vegetable Soup has a subtle Mediterranean flavour. and celery. Fry the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Add the tomatoes and the red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 15 minutes.

Add the water, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to the boil.

Add the cabbage, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for 2 hours.

Spread the slices of bread with the garlic and oil mixture. Place the bread in a warmed large soup tureen, or in individual soup bowls. Pour the soup over the bread and serve immediately.

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