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Big Kitchen Recipes - Summer Garden Minestrone with Fresh Borlotti Beans & Farro

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

5th August 2020

Big Kitchen Recipes – Summer Garden Minestrone with Fresh Borlotti Beans & Farro

Prep: 20 minutes    Cook: 1 hour    Serves: 4

Ingredients

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)

To serve

Grated Pecorino cheese, cracked black pepper, or try serving with some homemade basil pesto

Method

  1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil until lightly smoking over medium heat, then add the onions, carrots, garlic, and celery.
  2. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, then add cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then cover the vegetables with water by at least two inches.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, simmer, and cook until the vegetables are tender – about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Then add the courgettes, chard or cabbage, and fresh chopped herbs and cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Add the fresh beans, and pre-cooked farro (see notes), adding additional water as needed, then cook for another 10 minutes to meld the flavours.
  6. Taste soup, and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Allow soup to sit until cooled to room temperature before serving.
  8. Serve in individual bowls, topped with grated cheese and cracked black pepper. Serve pesto separately (if using)

NOTES

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.

Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 598 TOTAL FAT: 17g SATURATED FAT: 3g TRANS FAT: 0g UNSATURATED FAT: 12g CHOLESTEROL: 12mg SODIUM: 892mg CARBOHYDRATES: 99g FIBER: 24g SUGAR: 30g PROTEIN: 27g