sardinian minestrone

This soup is so good served with a pesto-style dressing. If you have a bit of leftover Parmesan rind, sling it into the pot to add flavour.

serves 6, ready in 45 mins

2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
150g any small pasta
400g canned borlotti beans, drained
800ml vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
Parmesan rind (optional)
300g frozen broad beans
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
150g green beans, trimmed and halved
½ small green cabbage
2 courgettes, sliced
100g podded fresh or frozen peas

to serve
1 small bunch basil, plus extra whole leaves, to serve
A few sprigs parsley
50ml olive oil
25g Parmesan, grated

Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the onion, carrot, celery and fennel for 10-15 mins until soft and starting to colour. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 mins. Stir in the pasta and borlotti beans.

Pour over the stock and add the herbs and Parmesan rind, if using. Season with pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down slightly until somewhere between a simmer and a boil, and cook for 15 mins.

Blanch the broad beans in boiling water for 3 mins, then drain. Rinse in cold water and peel off the skins.

Add the tomatoes to the soup, cook for 5 mins, then add the green beans and broad beans, the cabbage and courgettes. Simmer, covered, for 5 mins or until the green veg is tender, then add the peas and simmer for 1-2 mins.

For the dressing, finely chop the herbs and mix with the oil. Serve the soup with the pesto dressing, basil leaves, and a sprinkling of Parmesan.