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Winter Minestrone Soup with Basil Pesto recipe

Winter Minestrone Soup with Basil Pesto

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A hearty mix of seasonal veggies flavoured with basil pesto - yum!

  • Makes : 4 |
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 25 mins |
  • Cook Time : 60 mins
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Soup

2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

4 baby marrows, halved and sliced

3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly cubed

2 celery stalks, halved and sliced

3 baby fennel bulbs, halved and thinly sliced

1 small butternut, deseeded and cubed

1 x 200 ml can tomato juice

4 C (1 litre ) good quality chicken stock

1 tin (400 g) can borlotti beans, drained

50 g swiss chard, washed and chopped

1 baguette, sliced thickly and toasted

Homemade Basil Pesto

1 – 2 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 x 30 g punnet of basil, leaves washed and picked

1 small handful of Parmesan cheeseor any hard cheese

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Soup

Tip: It’s important to make sure all of your vegetables are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pot and gently fry the onions, garlic and bay leaf until translucent and fragrant.

Add the prepared vegetables and sauté, stirring continuously until vegetables just begin to soften.

Add the tomato juice and stir until all the vegetables are well coated.

Pour the chicken stock into the pot and allow to simmer for a good 30 – 40 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and soup has begun to  take on some good flavour.

Add the borlotti beans and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes.

Add the swiss chard 10 minutes before the soup is finished cooking, as you still want to retain the bright green colour and prevent it from over cooking.

Homemade Basil Pesto

Add the garlic to a pestle and mortar and pound into a rough paste.

Next, add the basil (in small batches) and grind into a paste.

Add the Parmesan cheese, a little salt and pepper and drizzle in the olive oil until the correct pesto consistency is achieved.

Adjust seasoning if need be.

Serve minestrone with toasted baguettes and a good swirl of basil pesto.