It was a simple soup, ten minutes' hands-on work and barely half an hour on the stove. An onion, coarsely chopped, softened in a little olive oil in a deep and heavy pan. An equal amount of carrots and yellow tomatoes (I used 1 pound [450g] of each to make enough for four), chopped and stirred into the soft, translucent onion. About 4 cups (a liter) of water (I could have used stock), and some salt, pepper, and a couple of bay leaves. It simmered for half an hour, then I pureed it to a thick, pulpy broth in the blender. We ended up with four big bowls of coarse-textured soup, as bright and cheerful as a pitcher of June flowers, a few chives stirred in at the table. As we licked our spoons, someone mentioned it would have been good to have it chilled. But by that time it was too late to try.
Photograph by Jonathan Lovekin
Reprinted with permission from Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater, copyright (c) 2009. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.