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Recipe for the Weekend: Minestrone Primavera

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THEO RANDALL
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The good thing about this recipe is not just the fact it is so easy to make but the texture and flavour of a few spring vegetables. The pesto really finishes the soup off and with the addition of the cream, all the flavours are combined. You can serve it hot or chilled - and why not try it with a glass of Gavi di Gavi? Have a great weekend!

Ingredients - serves two

250g English asparagus( cut into 1 cm slices)
2 x medium courgettes (cut into 1cm 1/4s)
200g shelled fresh peas
200g podded broad beans
2 tblsp finely chopped white onion
2 tblsp finely chopped celery
3 tblsp double cream
3 tblsp olive oil

In a pot of boiling salted water blanch all the vegetables for three minutes. Take them out of the water (keep the water as this will be used as the stock for the soup) with a slotted spoon and place on a tray to cool down (do not cool them down with cold water- that will dilute the flavour)

In a sauce pan heat the olive oil and cook the chopped onion and celery for three mins or until soft but do not colour. Add half the blanched vegetables and cook for about five minutes so the vegetables slowly fry with the onion and celery. Add 300ml of the blanched vegetable water and bring to the simmer and season. Using a stick blender puree the soup to a fine consistency. Add three tablespoons of double cream and add the remaining vegetables. Heat through and serve with fresh pesto on top.

Pesto

1 handful of fresh basil
75g pinenuts
100g grated parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
75ml olive oil

In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic clove with sea salt so the garlic becomes a paste, then add the pinenuts and pound to a fine crumb. Add the basil and pound to a smooth texture before adding two tablespoons of water to create a smooth green paste. Add the olive oil slowly so it emulsifies together with all the other ingredients. Add a dollop to the top of your soup. Enjoy!

Watch Theo in action on his new television show The Chef's Protege which is on BBC2 6.30pm weekdays - and you can catch up with all the previously broadcast episodes - all nine of them - on the BBC iPlayer.

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