In the fourth of our monthly series of seasonal recipes, Parham’s chef Neil Rusbridger was inspired by Italy to create a Summer Garden Minestrone with Fresh Borlotti Beans & Farro
Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 1 hour Serves: 4
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, peeled & diced
4 medium carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 stalks celery (including leaves), diced
2 medium courgettes, diced
1 large bunch, chopped cabbage (or other greens such as spinach or Swiss chard)
400g fresh ripe tomatoes, halved, or 2 cans cherry tomatoes
1 handful fresh herbs, i.e parsley, basil, oregano, chopped
Sea salt & fresh black pepper
450g fresh Borlotti or broad beans, shelled (or equal amount canned beans, drained – see notes)
500g Farro beans, cooked (see notes)
Grated Pecorino cheese, cracked black pepper, or try serving with some homemade basil pesto
This minestrone can be made year-round.
There is no need to use a recipe, but simply use whatever is in season. Cut them into equal-sized pieces and place them in a stockpot. Then cover the vegetables by an inch or two of water, and then gently simmer until soft. It’s important to add the vegetables in the order that they take to cook, so root vegetables first, then add green and softer veg as you go, so that they are all cooked the same and don’t become mushy.
You can thicken your soup with any grain, or even bread, and the addition of beans create an entire complete meal in a bowl. In place of Farro, you could use rice, barley, or even pasta if you prefer, and if fresh shelling beans are not available, you could substitute with canned beans.
If, like many this year, your tomatoes are slow to ripen, use two cans of cherry tomatoes instead.
This soup is delicious served at room temperature topped with some grated Pecorino Romano cheese and cracked black pepper but feel free to use whatever toppings you prefer.