Spring, Light Meals, Soup

Spring Minestrone with Basil and Mint Pistou

This is a favourite recipe of mine, another one that can easily be adapted. You can swap in for any green veggies you like and change the pasta shape, use cannellini beans or diced new potatoes instead. I make various variations of this at this time of year as it's very simple and can be made in record time if needs be.

Unless you have a good supply of homemade vegetable stock in the freezer, which I rarely do shop brought is just fine, try to get a good quality organic variety, the stocks pots are a favourite choice of mine.

Yu don't have to add the vegtable and herb additions to the stock if your short of time. They just add a liitle more flavour and freshness to the stock.

The basil and mint Pistou adds a zesty freshness but regular pesto works well too.

You can add a little extra grating of fresh herbs and lemon zest to finish which is a lovely addition.




2.5 litres of vegetable stock

I carrot roughly chopped

2 celery sticks roughly chopped

1 tsp. white or black pepper corns

Few sprigs of fresh herbs such as dill, Mint, flat leaf parsley

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp. tamari


1 cup Orzo pasta

170g fresh peas

300g broad beans podded, blanched skins removed.

125g fine asparagus cut in half

100g fine green beans cut in half

100g sugar snap peas cut in half length ways

2 leeks


1 loose filled cup mint leaves

1 tightly packed cup of basil leaves

2 fat garlic cloves

¼ cup nutritional yeast

Juice ½ lemon

1 tsp salt

¼ cup EVOO

Extra fresh herbs to serve (optional)

A little lemon zest (optional)


  1. In a large pan add all the ingredients for the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit until you're ready to serve.
  2. Cook the pasta per packet instructions ensuring you take a minute of two off al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Add all the pistou ingredients to a high powered blender and blitz to desired pesto type consistency. Set aside.
  4. Heat a large frying pan and add a little light oil. Add the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes until turning golden and lightly charred, turn them over and repeat on the other side. Remove them from the heat when they ready and set aside.
  5. When you are ready to serve, stain the stock through a sieve and return to hob, heat to a gentle simmer.
  6. It's best to check for seasoning at this point and add some salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed.
  7. Add the pasta to pan along with the leeks and green beans. Cook for a few minutes before add the remainder of the vegetables.
  8. Cook for a further minute and take of heat and ladle into bowls.
  9. Add a dollop of pistou to each bowl, drizzle with a touch of EVOO, a sprinkle of herbs and a zesting of lemon. serve with crusty bread.

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