This is Spring in a bowl! Beautiful and fragrant, everything about this sweet and fresh broth makes you feel nourished. Simply grab any vegetable you find at the market- or if you’re lucky, in in your garden, and use them to make this soup.
The white beans are dreaming of being a Minestrone (Minestrone would typically ask for pasta) and they help make what is a delicious, hearty and seasonal dish.
for the pesto:
bunch of basil
1 garlic clove
lemon juice (1/2 the lemon)
pine nuts, toasted
nutritional yeast, 1 tsp (vegan option)
for the soup:
1 courgette, quartered and sliced
1 fennel bulb, halved, sliced and finely chopped
3 carrots, sliced
6 spring onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
dried oregano, around 1/2 tsp
6 runner beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
6 asparagus spears, rough stalks finely chopped and the the more delicate ends cut into 1 inch pieces.
8 medium tomatoes, blanched, skin and seeds removed and then roughly chopped.
1 medium red chili
1x 800g can of white beans
good vegetable stock (I used 2 organic veggie stock cubes in about 1 litre water)
zest of 1/2 lemon
First make the pesto by blitzing all the ingredients in a food processor, steadily adding olive oil until you have a smooth creamy paste. Set aside to garnish your soup later.
Heat rapeseed oil in a wide based casserole dish on high.
Add your spring onions, garlic, fennel, carrot and chili and stir so the oil coats all the veg. Sprinkle in a liberal amount of oregano and fry everything for about 10-15 minutes.
Get your vegetable stock on a high heat and bring to a boil.
Add your courgette and asparagus stalks and stir fry for about a minute or so and then add enough stock to cover comfortably- its a soup so liquid is good!
Now throw in your runner beans and asparagus heads and cook the soup a further 5 minutes or until these are tender.
The key with this soup is to: chop small and cook quick, we want to retain a nice crunch in our veggies.
Now stir in your lemon zest to help that Springtime burst of flavours.
Serve in large bowls topped with a healthy dollop of pesto and a sprinkle of the fennel’s delicate fronds.