Autumn, Light Meals, Main, Pasta

Borlotti minestrone with walnut pesto

Extremely tasty and highly adaptable – you can really be free spirited with this recipe. Throw in any shaped pasta you like and add any greens that are in season, or longing to be used up in your fridge.

Caution: be less bohemian with the beans. You can try others, but some tend to go a little mushy. Borlotti are always best as these badboys know how to hold their shape and bite.

Awesome the next day too, just add a little extra veggie stock to loosen and feel free to stir in some fresh greens too.

15 minutes

45-1 hour

30-45 minutes



For the soup

2 tbs light oil

1 large onion diced

3 fat garlic cloves grated

½-1 tsp chilli flakes

200g cherry tomatoes halved

2 tbs tomato puree

1 tbs tomato ketchup

2 tins Borlotti Beans drained and rinsed

Few sprigs thyme

2 stock pots or 1 litre vegetable stock

1 tsp sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Heaped ½ cup of Fregola pasta or small pasta shape of choice

1 large bunch rainbow chard roughly chopped

For the basil and walnut pesto

1 large bunch of Basil

½ cup toasted walnuts

1 garlic clove crushed

½ cup nutritional yeast

3 tbs extra virgin

Juice 1 lemon

1 ½ tsp sea salt

2-3 tbs water to loosen


  1. In a large pan add 1 tbs light oil and the onions, cook until soft and translucent, add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so before adding the cherry tomatoes. Continue to cook until the tomatoes begin to soften.
  2. Add in the tomato puree, ketchup and thyme springs, cook for a further minute or so before adding the borlotti beans, stir to combine and add the stock. Stir again and bring to the boil and immediately reduce to a low simmer. Cook for around 15 minutes until reduced a little.
  3. Whilst the soup is cooking make the pesto by add all the ingredients but hold back 4-5 walnuts, to a blender or food processor and blitz until desired consistency, adding extra water to loosen if needed., cover and set aside.
  4. About 10 minutes before serving, check for seasoning and add salt and pepper accordingly, then add the pasta and 3 tbs extra virgin. Cook until the pasta is cooked, and the soup has reduced a little more.
  5. In a separate pan sauté, the chopped chard for a few minutes in light oil and stir through the soup just before serving to warm through.
  6. Serve the soup in bowls with dollops of pesto and a few reserved roughly chopped walnuts. And crusty bread is always a good idea!

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