I like Jamie Oliver and I know not everyone does, but he really does a lot more for the world than many. He has tons of great free recipes on his site and this one is particularly delicious. We did change the recipe a bit, but like he says, a good minestrone should change with the seasons… Plus you don’t have to use ALL these veggies, if you can’t find some – leave them out or substitute a favorite.
- 1 liter (4 1/2 c) good chicken, ham or vegetable stock
- 1/2 bulb of fennel
- 1 cauliflower
- 4 baby zucchini (or 2 regular size)
- 2 plum tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 80g (2.5 oz)green beans, finely sliced
- 80g (2.5 oz)yellow beans, finely sliced
- 80g (2.5 oz) fine asparagus
- 80g (2.5 oz) peas, podded
- 80g (2.5 oz) broad beans, podded
- 80g (2.5 oz) spaghetti, broken-up
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1 small handful of fresh green or purple basil
- 1 small handful of fresh chives
In a big pot bring the stock to a boil. While it’s heating up get all the vegetables prepared and put to one side. The fennel has to be halved, sliced and finely chopped, the asparagus needs to have the woody ends removed, the stalks finely sliced and the tips left whole, the cauliflowers need to be divided into small florets, the zucchinis need to be quartered lengthways and finely chopped and finally the tomatoes need to be blanched. Cut them in half and finely slice.
In a big fry-pan put a few tablespoons of olive oil and heat the pan on a medium heat. Add the garlic, spring onions and fennel and gently fry without colouring at all for about 10-15 minutes. Then add these veggies to the stock, along with the rest of your prepared vegetables and the pasta. Bring to the boil, simmer for only about 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper and serve in big bowls with a sprinkling of chopped basil and chives.
You don’t need to cook it for a long time, because all these ingredients are great fresh and will cook quickly. Jamie also suggests a dollop of fresh pesto ontop for a pop of flavor, but that’s up to you. We have some on crusty bread for dunking. Enjoy!
Song for this recipe:
Florence and the machine released this song on the record Lungs, which is entirely great. It’s full of punchy, solid songs that have good beats and good lyrics. Florence is not as soft and girly a singer as her flowy white outfits and sugary red hair might suggest. She sings with conviction and the tunes transform wonderfully along the way. Good for dancing, parties and/or frequent listening.
Happy Mothers Day – you’ve got my love Mum. XO