End of summer herb soup with a poached egg

Serves 4-6

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This soup is a great way to use up herbs in your garden that have bolted or flowered. You need to be careful what herbs you are using, though, as some of the more pungent herbs can really overpower the soup. Parsley, chervil and chives are great in abundance but you need to be more careful with herbs such as lovage, coriander and tarragon and use them in moderation.

I've also added a Clarence Court poached egg here, in celebration of the fact that it's National Egg Week.

1 leek, roughly chopped and washed
1 medium onion, peeled, roughly chopped
A couple of good knobs of butter
1tbsp flour
1.5ltrs of vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of parsley, washed, thicker stalks removed and put to one side
A handful of chervil, washed, thicker stalks removed and put to one side
A handful of basil, washed, thicker stalks removed and put to one side
A handful of chives
A few mint leaves
4-6 eggs

Gently cook the onion and leek in the butter in a covered pan for 4-5 minutes until soft, stirring every so often. Add the flour and stir well, then gradually add the vegetable stock and season.

Bring to the boil; add the thicker, reserved herb stalks and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the rest of the herbs and simmer for 2 more minutes only.

Blend until smooth in a liquidiser then strain through a medium strainer, as a fine-meshed sieve will not allow the bits of herbs through.

Poach your eggs, reheat and re-season the soup if necessary and carefully drop an egg into each bowl of soup.

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