I once talked about how a simple bowl of minestrone is the ultimate comfort food. But in the summer months I crave something a little lighter. I’m a huge believer in using produce that’s in season, which is exactly why this minestrone is not only light and delicious, but completely accessible and affordable.
A simple broth made from vegetable stock, seasoned with pesto and packed full of seasonal vegetables. Broad beans, peas, spring onions and watercress are all in season right now.
Like the Italians, I too am a bit fussy about the type of pasta that’s used in sauces – and soup is no exception. Try to find small pasta to whack up the carb levels. Don’t forget the crusty bread!
- Olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 75g broad beans
- 100g peas
- 1 litre hot vegetable stock (+ 150ml extra boiling water)
- 150g tinned cannellini beans
- About a handful of fresh watercress, torn
- A small bunch of fresh basil, torn
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 150g pasta, like short macaroni
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Basil oil to serve
- Parmigiano reggiano to serve
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, then drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
In a large pan heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and add the spring onions and garlic, sautéing for a few minutes until softened. Next add the broad beans and peas and sauté for another few minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper and then pour in the hot stock and extra water. Bring the lot to boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer for around 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Next stir in the pesto, cannellini beans and the torn watercress and basil leaves. Check the seasoning and add as needed.
To serve, divide the pasta into four bowls and top with the soup. Drizzle with basil oil, a sprinkle of parmigiano and devour with crusty bread. Delish.