The River Cafe’s summer minestrone

Serves 10

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Ingredients

2 1/4 lbs (1kg)
thin asparagus
3 1/2 lbs (1.5kg)
fresh peas, in their pods
4 1/2 lbs (2kg)
fresh young fava beans, in their pods
2
garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1
small head celery, chopped
3
small red onions, peeled and chopped
4 tbsp (60ml)
1 lb (450g)
young green beans, trimmed and chopped
about 4 1/2 cups (1L)
1/2 bunch
of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (or marjoram or mint)
1 1/4 cups (300ml)
heavy cream
5 ounces (150g)
Parmesan, freshly grated
1/2 cup (120ml)

Instructions

  • Trim or snap off the tough ends from the asparagus spears, then cut the tips and tender parts into ½-inch (1cm) pieces. Shell the peas and fava beans.
  • In a saucepan, sauté the garlic, celery and onions gently in the olive oil until soft— about 10 minutes.
  • Divide the asparagus, peas, fava beans and green beans between two bowls. Add one bowlful to the onion mixture and cook, stirring to coat with oil, for 5 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Cover with the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the remaining vegetables and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the basil and cream. Stir. Cool to room temperature, then serve with Parmesan and pesto.

Excerpted from River Café London: Thirty Years of Recipes and the Story of a Much-Loved Restaurant by Ruth Rogers, Rose Gray, Sian Wyn Owen and Joseph Trivelli. Copyright © Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray 1995. Published in the United States by Borzoi Books an imprint of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Nutrition

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