We may just have stumbled upon our new favourite soup recipe! This has everything you could want for a Springtime broth- it is refreshing, nourishing and bursting with flavour. The mix of herbs works so beautifully together and the Cavalo Nero and Swiss chard bring such a wonderful freshness to the dish.
The potatoes and beans fill it out nicely and make it a proper meal that will keep you feeling satiated for longer. We adapted this from an Ottolenghi recipe and embellished the pesto recipe, veganising it and giving it more of a basil flavour. Any leftover pesto would be great on bruschetta or with pasta.
Spring Greens Soup
4 shallots, peeled & finely sliced
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
200g Cavalo Nero, stalks removed, finely sliced
200g swiss chard, stalks and leaves separated, both finely sliced
4 pieces of lemon rind
Juice of one lemon
1 litre of vegetable stock
100g frozen or fresh podded peas
350g new potatoes (boiled/cooked separately)
200g cooked white beans (preferably jarred)
100g asparagus tips
20g mix of tarragon, chives & parsley, roughly chopped
For the pesto:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
30g wild garlic
30g vegan parmesan, grated*
30 toasted cashews
Good grinding of black pepper
Pinch of salt to taste
*nutritional yeast flakes can be used here as a substitute
First make the pesto. Put all the ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor or blender and blitz/pulse to a rough chunky paste.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on a medium-high heat, then fry the shallots, celery, lemon rind pieces, chard stalks, a teaspoon of salt and a generous grinding of pepper for 10 minutes, stirring a few times, until it all starts to caramelise and soften.
Add the chard, cavolo nero leaves and asparagus, and fry, stirring, for two minutes longer, until the leaves wilt. Pour in the stock and peas, leave on the heat for two minutes or so, until boiling, then stir in the beans, cooked potatoes, tarragon and lemon juice, and divide between four bowls.
Spoon pesto on top, drizzle with a little more oil and serve hot. You can garnish with more fresh tarragon and basil if desired.