Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Easy Minestrone Soup with Homemade Spinach and Basil Pesto

This soup is great because most of the ingredients come from a tin, and the pasta makes it a filling meal.

Ingredients for the Homemade Pesto - fills one ramekin

21g basil leaves
40g almonds
15 g spinach leaves (one handful)
1 cloves of garlic
40g good quality olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
50g cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper

1. Start by grinding the almonds with a hand blender (or in a food processor) and then add the basil, spinach, garlic, oil and lemon juice. 

2. Finally mix in the grated cheese and season well. 

Ingredients for the Soup - serves 8

- 3 tins of chopped tomatoes (1200g) and 2 tins filled with boiling water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 onion, chopped 
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 2 mini peppers, chopped (or half a pepper, chopped)
- 3 handfuls of spinach pasta or plain pasta, broken into small pieces
- 30g spaghetti, broken into small bits
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 tbsp homemade pesto (or jarred pesto)
- 6 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 pinch of chilli flakes (or more to taste) 
- 165g tinned sweetcorn (or frozen sweetcorn), drained 
- 2 large handfuls of frozen peas
- 400g tin of drained and washed cannellini beans (or mixed beans)

1. Start by frying the onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a little vegetable oil. After a few minutes add the tinned tomatoes, water and stock cubes. 

2. Bring the tomatoes to the boil and then put in the pasta, celery, peppers, sugar, pesto, basil and chilli flakes. Cook this for 6 minutes on a medium heat.

3. Finally pour in the sweetcorn, peas and beans. Simmer the soup on a low heat with a lid on for a further 5 minutes. All done!

Spoon some pesto on top of the soup to serve.

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