Spring vegetable soup with bacon meatballs
In spring, a cook's thoughts turn to fresh greens
- To make the soup, put the oil into a heavy saucepan with the onion and garlic and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the celery, zucchini and leek and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the stock and thyme and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then set aside while you make the meatballs.
- Trim any rind and gristle from the bacon and cut into small chunks. Whiz in a processor until it forms a rough paste, then add the pepper, parsley and tarragon.
- Remove the blade from the processor bowl and form the mixture into balls the size of large marbles.
- Bring the soup back to the boil and add the meatballs. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove the thyme. Add the vinegar. Check the seasonings and add salt and pepper if needed.
- When ready to serve, add plenty of green herbs. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan.