Minestrone with spring vegetables and bruchetta
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch baby (Dutch) carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved widthwise
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 firmly packed cup mint leaves
- 50g finely grated parmesan
- 2 zucchinis, cut into 1.5cm pieces
- 375g green beans, cut into thirds
- 1 bunch asparagus, halved widthwise on the diagonal
- 1.25L chicken stock or water
- 300g fresh podded peas (850g unpodded) or frozen peas
- 100g baby spinach
- 6 slices ciabatta or other Italian-style bread
- Step 1 - Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, two-thirds of the garlic and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until onion is soft.
- Step 2 - Meanwhile, process remaining garlic and 60ml (1/4 cup) oil with mint and parmesan in a food processor to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Step 3 - Add zucchinis, beans and asparagus to onion mixture and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to the boil. Add peas and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in spinach and cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Step 4 - Meanwhile, to make bruschetta, preheat a chargrill pan over medium heat. Drizzle bread on both sides with a little extra oil, then cook for 1 1/2 minutes each side or until charred.
- Step 5 - Spread bruschetta with mint mixture. Ladle soup among bowls, top with bruschetta and serve immediately.