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Serves 6

• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• generous 1/2 cup diced Serrano ham or prosciutto
• 6 lettuce leaves, shredded
• 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 2 3/4 cups diced carrots
• 1 pound 10 ounces small young globe artichokes
• 1 lemon, halved
• 2 turnips, diced
• 1 pound 2 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths
• 2 1/4 pounds peas, shelled
• salt

Heat the oil in a pan.

Add the onion and cook over low heat stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until softened and translucent.

Add the ham and lettuce and cook for a few minutes, then stir in the flour. Add the carrot and pour in enough water to cover. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile remove and discard the tough outer leaves of the artichokes and cut off the tops of the remaining leaves. Cut the artichokes lengthwise into halves or quarters, depending on their size, and remove the chokes with a teaspoon. Rub the artichokes all over with the lemon halves to prevent them turning black.

Add the artichokes, turnips, beans, peas, and a pinch of salt to the pan (If you're unsure about how tender the artichokes are, cook them separately and add them to the soup later). Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for 30-45 minutes, until the vegetable are tender but not falling apart.

If the soup is too liquid remove some of the stock before serving. Garnish with slices of hard-cooked egg if you like.

Note: This is a very flexible recipe you can use different vegetables, depending on the time of year.


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