Here in England, we’re in the throes of high summer. Sunny days and balmy nights, picnics, Pimm’s, the occasional thunderstorm, and a whole load of gorgeous produce to relish while the season lasts. I’ve been loving my weekly organic All British Veg Box from Abel & Cole (not #spon, I just think they’re great!), and the recent plethora of fresh, green goodies inspired this recipe: a riff on minestrone with a summery twist, light and filling, and so quick and easy to cook.
This recipe makes about six portions – my husband and I (life news: we got hitched in June, hurrah!) have been enjoying this soup on Sunday evenings, and I’ve been resurrecting the leftovers as very simple and satisfying packed lunches during the week. Needless to say, change this up according to what you have in – instead of cabbage, how about kale or cavolo nero; or chuck in some leeks, summer beans, sweetcorn, or any lovely fresh herbs you might have to hand to really make the most of the season’s delicious bounty. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Green and bean broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 handfuls of cabbage, sliced (I used sweetheart cabbage) – approx. 200g
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 100g frozen peas (petit pois are my faves)
- 1 litre hot vegetable stock
- 400g can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 tsp dried (or fresh and finely chopped) rosemary
- 100g small soup pasta (I used stellete)
- Sea salt and black pepper to season
- Optional, to garnish: a lemon, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan/cheddar
- Put 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, and add the chopped onion with a pinch of salt. Cook gently for three minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and the cabbage along with the fennel seeds, stir through, and continue to cook for a further three or four minutes, until the cabbage starts to brown a little at the edges. Add a splash of water if the ingredients start to stick to the pan, and be careful to ensure that the garlic does not burn!
- Next, throw in the frozen peas, the hot stock, the rosemary, and the beans, and stir everything through.
- Bring to the boil, and then add the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes – or until your chosen pasta is al dente – stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the pasta is cooked, remove the pan from the heat.
- When you’re ready to serve the soup, season to your taste: sea salt, a generous grind of black pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a glug of good extra virgin olive oil, and even a fine grating of parmesan or cheddar are all excellent additions.