Winter minestrone with pesto croûtes
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 4
Keep the winter out and warmth in with nutritious minestrone and pesto croûtes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion , chopped
- 100g unsmoked lardons or chopped streaky bacon
- 2 large carrots , chopped
- 2 sticks celery , chopped
- 1 medium potato , chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped or crushed
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1l vegetable stock (from granules or a cube)
- 2 tsp chopped sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried
- few cabbage leaves, shredded
- 400g can haricot bean
- handful chopped parsley
For the pesto croutes
- STEP 1
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and lardons or bacon and fry for about 5 mins until the onion is starting to brown. Tip in the carrots, celery, potato and garlic, stir well and cook for a few minutes.
- STEP 2
Add the tomatoes, stock and sage, and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to simmer and cook partly covered for 30 mins, stirring in the cabbage after 15 mins. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pan with the parsley. Season and serve with pesto croûtes, see right, or crusty bread.
- STEP 3
For the pesto croûtes: Cut 3-4 slices of crusty bread into chunks, about 2cm thick. Tip into an ovenproof pan. Mix the olive oil and pesto, then add to the bread, tossing it with your hands until the croûtes are evenly coated. Bake in a moderate oven for about 10 mins until crisp.
MAKE IT VEGETARIAN
Leave out the bacon and use 100g/4oz sliced chestnut mushrooms instead.