A bowl and saucepan filled with fennel & pancetta minestrone

Fennel & pancetta minestrone

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Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins

Easy

Serves 2

Make this minestrone soup with pancetta, macaroni, fennel and peas for a hearty lunch or easy midweek dinner. Serve with pesto and crusty bread

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal517
  • fat22g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs52g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre14g
  • protein21g
  • salt1.7g
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Ingredients

  • 77g pack smoked pancetta lardons
    Pancetta

    Pancetta

    pan-chet-ah

    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • small bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 2 fennel bulbs, halved lengthways and sliced, fronds reserved to serve
    Fennel bulb

    Fennel bulb

    Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate - its strong aniseed flavour…

  • 1l low-salt chicken stock
  • 100g macaroni (or another small pasta)
  • 100g frozen peas
    Peas

    Peas

    p-ees

    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

  • 2 tbsp pesto, to serve
    Pesto

    Pesto

    Pess-toh

    Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.

    The…

  • crusty bread, to serve

Method

  1. Dry-fry the lardons for 7-10 mins or until they begin to release their oils. Add the spring onions and cook gently for 5 mins or until softened, then add the garlic and fennel seeds, and cook for a few mins more. Add the fennel, cook for a few mins, then pour in the stock and 500ml water.

  2. Simmer for 5 mins, then drop in the pasta and bring to the boil. Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then tip in the peas, cook for 2 mins more and season to taste. Divide between two bowls and top each with a dollop of pesto and some fennel fronds. Serve with crusty bread.

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