GREEN MINESTRONE

Green Minestrone Soup

I wrote this recipe specifically for my pregnancy cookbook, Blooming Delicious, however it’s a great soup for the whole family.  Packed full of amazing nutrients, vitamins, colour and flavour.  Eating lots of greenery is great for you, pregnant or not.  This soup is surely going to put a big tick in that folate and iron box. Green vegetables are also a really good source of vitamin E, which will do wonders for your skin and could even help prevent stretch marks if you are carrying. It’s really important to remember, however, that all nutrients and vitamins are very precious and can easily be destroyed by overcooking, so quick cooking and eating al dente is always advised.

PREP TIME 15 MINUTES • COOK TIME 20 MINUTES • MAKE 1.5 LITRES

2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 white onion, peeled
and finely diced
1 leek, trimmed
and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
and finely chopped
½ fennel bulb, trimmed
and finely diced
1 celery stick, finely
chopped
1.5 litres hot chicken
or vegetable stock
200g wholegrain giant
couscous or baby pasta
2 courgettes, trimmed
and grated
2 spring onions, trimmed
and sliced
2 handfuls of petits pois,
fresh or frozen
1 handful of broad beans,
fresh or frozen
6–8 baby asparagus spears,
trimmed and halved
lengthways
salt and freshly ground
black pepper

1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole pan over a low heat. Add the onion, leek, garlic, fennel and celery, and cook for 5–6 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Now addthe stock, increase the heat and bring to the boil. Season with a little salt and lots of pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer fora few minutes before adding the couscous or baby pasta. Cook for 10 minutes or until just tender. Now add the courgettes,
spring onions, peas, broad beans and baby asparagus. Simmer for 1–2 minutes before turning off the heat.
2 If you don’t want to eat the soup straight away, you can store it either in the fridge or freezer. Allow to cool completely before pouring into an airtight container and keeping in the fridge for 3–4 days, or pour into labelled freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating. Ensure the soup is piping hot before you serve it; this can be done in a saucepan or in the microwave.
3 Serve with a spoonful of pesto and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

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