Recipe

Green minestrone

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 8
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Ingredients

Green minestrone
  • 60 gram pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, large, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, halved and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2cm cubes
  • 1/4 cauliflower, cut into florettes
  • 375 gram potatoes, such as desiree, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes.
  • 2 400g cans chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
  • 1 cup 1/2cm cubes silverbeet stems, plus 2 cups sliced silverbeet leaves (about 6-8 large leaves plus stems)
  • 1 parmesan rind (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 8 cup (2 litre) water
Almond pesto
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic, flattened with a knife
  • 1/4 cup (25g) grated parmesan
  • 2 cup mixed parsley and basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Method

Green minestrone
  • 1
    Combine pancetta, garlic and parsley in a small processor and pulse until finely chopped. Place oil and pancetta mixture in a frypan, add onion and saute until onion is soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • 2
    Add remaining ingredients except silverbeet leaves and season with salt. Mix well, then bring to a boil and simmer over moderately low heat for 30 minutes. Add silverbeet leaves and simmer a further 5 minutes. Check seasoning.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, to make pesto, toast almonds lightly in a small frypan over moderate heat, shaking pan frequently, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  • 4
    Allow to cool, then place almonds, garlic and parmesan in a processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add basil and pulse until minced. With machine running, add oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Add lemon juice and season with salt.
  • 5
    Serve soup in deep, heated bowls with pesto on the side.

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