Spring pesto minestrone
Ooh, what a gorgeous way to eat your five-a-day! Spring vegetables are cooked to perfect crunchiness and the homemade pesto gives the soup a lovely flagrance of freshly cut grass. In addition to its simplicity, the beauty of this recipe is its versatility. Adapt it to your own selection of Spring vegetables or add sliced chicken breasts if you don't want to make this a vegetarian dinner. So easy, so pretty and such a delicious, healthy treat.

Spring pesto minestrone

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Recipe by: Inspired by Minestrone de Printemps, Stephane Reynaud, 365 Bonnes Raisons de passer a Table
Busy:25 min, Total prep time: 25 min
Serves: 4 
For this recipe you need a steamer and a large pan with tallish sides.

Prepare the pesto: blitz all ingredients in a blender until obtaining a homogenous yet grainy texture; reserve.

Chop the roots and leaves off the radishes, keeping a few mms green stems on the radishes. Discard the roots and keep the leaves. Wash both radishes and leaves separately and reserve.

Steam the radishes for 10 minutes, adding the fine beans to the steamer half way through.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions gently in hot olive oil in the frying pan. When translucent, add the vegetable broth. Bring to the boil and add the pasta. Simmer for 2 minutes, then toss the peas into the soup. Simmer two more minutes and add the mangetout and radish leaves. Simmer one last minute and take off the heat. Mix in gently the radishes and beans and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup with a dollop of pesto in each bowl.

For this recipe you need a steamer and a large pan with tallish sides.

Prepare the pesto: blitz all ingredients in a blender until obtaining a homogenous yet grainy texture; reserve.

Chop the roots and leaves off the radishes, keeping a few mms green stems on the radishes. Discard the roots and keep the leaves. Wash both radishes and leaves separately and reserve.

Steam the radishes for 10 minutes, adding the fine beans to the steamer half way through.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions gently in hot olive oil in the frying pan. When translucent, add the vegetable broth. Bring to the boil and add the pasta. Simmer for 2 minutes, then toss the peas into the soup. Simmer two more minutes and add the mangetout and radish leaves. Simmer one last minute and take off the heat. Mix in gently the radishes and beans and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup with a dollop of pesto in each bowl.

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You may vary the vegetables as you like, sliced asparagus for instance or broad beans would also work wonders.

I never found a vegetable broth cube that actually yielded a broth remotely resembling the real thing. I quite like Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon though, which comes in powder form. Although not perfect, it delivers an enjoyable bouillon. I used it to make this soup.

To gain time you may use ready-made pesto, just make sure you get a high quality one (fresh is best).
Ingredients

For the soup:
100 g fine beans
100 g snow peas or mange tout beans
150 g fresh green peas, shelled (count 450 g peas with their pod)
1 bunch radishes
1 onion
100 g capellini (also called angel hair pasta)
1.5 L vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

For the pesto:
1 bunch basil, leaves picked and washed
50 g parmesan, chopped
1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon pine nuts
3-4 tablespoons olive oil


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