The most popular new book about soup and only soup comes from British restaurateur John Vincent and food writer Jane Vincent. Leon Happy Soups brings the recipes from the beloved London produce palace straight to your own kitchen. Remember: A boring bowl is not a happy bowl. And a bowl full of winter minestrone is sure to warm you up right. 

There are dozens of recipes for minestrone, which means “big soup” (“maxistrone”) in Italian. It can be made at any time of year, using whatever seasonal vegetables you have, and the only rule — if there can be said to be any at all — is that you also include some little hunks of starch in it. These could be pasta, potatoes, or pulses or a combination.

The habit of adding canned tomatoes is a British invention, rather than Italian, but one which Rebecca loves, having grown up with it. The bacon or pancetta is not essential, but if you use any be sure to cut it up into tiny pieces, as otherwise you will be left with slightly rubbery, not totally appetizing strips of boiled meat, when all you really want is a subtle hint of porkiness in the broth.

Reprinted with permission from Leon Happy Soups