This is a favourite recipe of mine, and is another that can easily be adapted to include your favourite flavours. You can swap in any green veggies you like, change the pasta shape, or use cannellini beans or diced new potatoes instead. I make variations of this all through the year, as it's very simple, and can be made in record time if you're in a hurry.
Unless you have a good supply of homemade vegetable stock in the freezer (which I rarely do!) shop-bought is just fine – but try to get hold of a good-quality organic variety. Stocks pots are also a favourite of mine – and if you're short on time, don't worry about adding the veg and herbs. While they add a little more flavour and freshness, they're not essential.
The basil and mint pistou adds a welcome zestiness, but regular pesto would work well too. And if you've got the time, an extra grating of fresh herbs and lemon zest to finish is a lovely addition.
For the stock
2.5 litres vegetable stock
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
1 tsp white or black peppercorns
Few sprigs fresh herbs, such as dill, mint, and flat-leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tamari
For the pistou
1 loose-filled cup mint leaves
1 tightly packed cup basil leaves
2 fat cloves garlic
¼ cup nutritional yeast
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the soup
1 cup orzo pasta
1 tbsp light oil, such as groundnut
100g fine green beans, cut in half widthways
300g broad beans, podded, blanched and skins removed
170g fresh peas
125g fine asparagus, cut in half widthways
100g sugar snap peas, cut in half lengthways
To serve (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh herb leaves
A grating of lemon zest
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