Spring minestrone with celeriac leaf pesto is my kind of dish. It’s a quick soup made with what I had on hand before the weekly shop- a tin of cannellini beans, frozen peas, a leek and a zucchini. In last week’s blog, I posted a recipe for celeriac remoulade. I recently chatted with Sally from Farmer and Son https://www.farmerandson.com.au about ways to use up all parts of the vegetables. So we often we discard the leaves, skins, roots, etc. I usually freeze my vegetable scraps to make stock, but this time I decided to use the celeriac leaves to make a pesto. Last night, I served it up with grilled broccolini and spaghetti. Today, it was the perfect garnish for my soup. The celeriac leaves are little bitter, so I tempered it with a splash of vinegar.
Minestrone literally means ‘big soup’ in Italian, thanks to all of the vegetables that are included. It can be made with all variety of ingredients, including borlotti beans, pork rind, parmesan rind, pasta, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage. My winter version takes more than an hour to cook. However, this spring minestrone takes a fraction of the time. The pesto can be made in advance, and either spooned on top, or stirred into the soup. Tell me, what are your favourite ingredients for minestrone?
If your rocket leaves are a bit too wilted for your salad, don’t throw them out! You might like to try this walnut and rocket pesto: https://atamandastable.com.au/walnut-and-rocket-pesto/
And, here’s the link to the celeriac remoulade: https://atamandastable.com.au/celeriac-remoulade/
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Spring Minestrone with Celeriac Leaf Pesto
- 1 leek, ends trimmed, washed and sliced
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced I used a mandolin
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 425 g tin cannelin beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 L chicken or vegtable stock
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- celeriac pesto, to garnish or stir in
- 2 cups celeriac leaves add parsley, baby carrot leaves or rocket leaves if you don't have enough
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and saute the sliced leeks until soft.
- Add the cannellini beans and stock, bring to the boil, then add the frozen peas and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the zucchini at the last minute and remove from the heat.
- Season to taste and add a spoonful of celeriac pesto. Serve immediately.
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry fry pan until golden brown and set aside to cool.
- Mix the celeriac leaves, garlic and olive oil briefly with a handheld blender or in a food processor.
- Add the parmesan cheese and cooled pine nuts and blitz briefly again.
- Stir in the vinegar. Taste and add more if required.
- Store in a sealed jar in the fridge. Adding a layer of oil to the top of the pesto will help it maintain its bright green colour.