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Cetona, Province of Siena, Italy
Extra virgin olive oil producer, cook, recipe writer, pop-up restaurant caterer, insiders tours

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Minestrone alla Primavera

Spring is here and with it some of my favourite vegetables.  How about this fresh green soup brimming with asparagus, chicory, fave broad beans, peas and artichokes?  So simple, and so delicious...it just shouts "I'M ALIVE!!"

Ingredients for 4

1 bunch of fresh or wild asparagus
1 bunch of fresh or wild chicory, blanched
2 spring onions, chopped
2 handfuls of shelled fave broad beans
2 handfuls of shelled peas
2 artichokes cut small

Cover the bottom of a soup pan with olive oil and slowly soften the onion.  In another pan cook the chicory for 5 minutes in boiling water and then chop finely once cool. 
To prepare the rest of the vegetables take each asparagus and snap off & throw away the bottom part, peel up the stalk a couple of cms and then cut what's left into 2 cm pieces. Shell the fave beans and peas. Peel the hard outer leaves of the artichokes, cut the heads into quarters, remove the hair from the centre and slice the remaining part quite finely.
Now add all the raw vegetables to the onions and cook for 5 minutes to flavour together.  Cover with water, add salt, bring to the boil, turn down and leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.  Add in the chopped chicory.
Serve tepid with a good olive oil and some country bread.

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