Anneliese Jones' recipe for green minestrone embodies the wholesome flavours of chicken stock, smoky Espelette pepper, and nutty Pesto alla Genovese. Our pesto is made in Italy, giving it an authentic and refreshing palate of herbs and nuts. Finished with a drizzle of Salvagno extra virgin olive oil and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, this dish is sure to be popular with everyone in your family. 

Serves 6

2 Tbsp Salvagno extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
2 brown onions, diced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp Calasparra rice or Ferron carnaroli rice
2 litres vegetable or chicken stock
2½ cups frozen peas
½ tsp Piment d’Espelette pepper or Pons hot paprika flakes
½ cup curly leaf parsley
4 cups (120g) baby spinach (long hard stalks removed, if you like)
1½ cups El Navarrico white beans, drained
2 tsp fresh oregano
½ cup basil leaves, torn
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
6 Tbsp Sabato pesto alla Genovese – to serve
Parmigiano Reggiano – to serve 

Sauté the onions in the olive oil, adding the garlic and leeks after a few minutes. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until everything is soft.

Add the fennel and rice and cook for a few more minutes, letting the rice toast a little. Add more EVO, if needed.

Add the stock, peas, Espelette pepper or paprika flakes and parsley then bring to the boil for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add the spinach, white beans, oregano and basil.

When the spinach is wilted completely, and the beans are heated through the soup is ready. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon in serving bowls and finish with a dollop of pesto and generous shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano.

Recipe by Annaliese Jones

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