Summer minestrone soup

Photo by Simon Lambert.
Photo by Simon Lambert.

This refreshing soup works wonderfully hot or chilled and the addition of pungent smashed basil takes the soup to another level.


Summer minestrone soup
Serves 4


1 litre good-quality vegetable stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced finely
2 medium courgettes, diced
250g firm potatoes (jersey benne), sliced thinly
1 bunch asparagus, sliced thinly
1 cup broad beans, skinned if possible
1 cup peas
1 cup fresh basil
75g fresh grated parmesan
extra virgin olive
oil for serving
sea salt flakes, freshly ground pepper



In a large pot add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the onions, cook over a moderate heat without colouring (5min).

Add the courgettes and cook for a further 2min.

Cover with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, add the potatoes and reduce the heat. Cook until the potatoes are just tender (10min-15min depending on size). While the soup is simmering away make the basil paste to serve with it. I use a mortar and pestle but you can easily chop this by hand. Place all the basil leaves and the finer of the basil stalks into the mortar, add a pinch of salt and mash or chop the basil until a coarse, fragrant paste occurs, add the parmesan, stir in the extra virgin olive oil. Set aside until needed.

Finally add the broad beans, peas and asparagus, season with salt and a little pepper, taste and adjust if necessary. Serve either hot or chilled with a generous spoon of the basil paste.

This recipe comes from Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market.

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