Hairy Bikers’ Sardinian minestrone
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- For the soup
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 1 bulb fennel, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 150g any small pasta
- 400g canned borlotti beans, drained
- 800ml vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Parmesan rind (optional)
- 300g frozen broad beans
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 150g green beans, trimmed and halved
- ½ small green cabbage
- 2 courgettes, sliced
- 100g podded fresh or frozen peas
- To serve
- 1 small bunch basil, plus extra whole leaves, to serve
- A few sprigs parsley
- 50ml olive oil
- 25g Parmesan, grated
Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the onion, carrot, celery and fennel for 10-15 mins until soft and starting to colour. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 mins. Stir in the pasta and borlotti beans.
Pour over the stock and add the herbs and Parmesan rind, if using. Season with pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down slightly until somewhere between a simmer and a boil, and cook for 15 mins.
Blanch the broad beans in boiling water for 3 mins, then drain. Rinse in cold water and peel off the skins.
Add the tomatoes to the soup, cook for 5 mins, then add the green beans and broad beans, the cabbage and courgettes. Simmer, covered, for 5 mins or until the green veg is tender, then add the peas and simmer for 1-2 mins.
For the dressing, finely chop the herbs and mix with the oil. Serve the soup with the pesto dressing, basil leaves, and a sprinkling of Parmesan.