Spring vegetable minestrone
Cannellini beans replace pasta in our minestrone soup. Spring vegetables should be made the most of when in season.
Photo: Quentin Jones
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- 75g dried cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
- 3 celery sticks, washed and chopped
- 1 small leek, washed and chopped
- 200g tinned tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1L chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- 4 zucchini flowers
- 8 baby carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 8 baby turnips, scrubbed and thinly sliced
- 1 handful french beans, cut into 1cm lengths and blanched
- ½ cup chervil leaves, washed
Place beans in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer until soft. Drain and reserve covered with a wet tea towel.
Heat olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan and cook garlic, onion and celery until soft. Add leek and cook for five minutes.
Add tomato and cannellini beans and cook for 10 minutes. Add stock, season, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove stamens from zucchini flowers and thinly slice stalks. Add carrot and turnip to soup and simmer for five minutes, add french beans and zucchini stalks and then flowers.
Simmer for one minute. Serve in four bowls, each with a zucchini flower, and top with chervil leaves.