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.
The River Cafe's summer minestroneBy Chatelaine
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- 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) olive oil
- 1 lb (450g) young green beans , trimmed and chopped
- about 4 1/2 cups (1L) chicken stock
- 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) pesto
- 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.