Minestrone with parsley pesto
Cut all vegetables to a similar size, easily manageable on a soup spoon. Once the minestrone is cold freeze in two lots if wished or freeze single quantities in small plastic bags or containers for an easy lunch.
- Place the oil, bacon, onion, leek and garlic in a large heavy-based saucepan. Place on a low heat and allow vegetables to soften and just begin to colour, about 10 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, cauliflower and potato and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, vegetable stock, tomatoes, fregola and spinach and cook at a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. Taste soup for seasoning then add the borlotti beans or chickpeas and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until all ingredients are soft and the minestrone is full of flavour, adding more stock if the soup is just too thick. Serve soup with the parsley pesto (recipe below).
Place parsley, garlic, pine nuts and parmesan in a food processor and process until roughly chopped, then drizzle in the olive oil. Freeze in a small container.