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Winter Minestrone With Pesto Croûtes

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 40 mins

Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 4

Ingredients.

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

100g unsmoked lardons or chopped streaky bacon

2 large carrots, chopped

2 sticks of celery, chopped

1 medium potato, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

400g can chopped tomatoes

1l vegatable stock (from granules or a cube)

2 tsp chopped sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried

few cabbage leaves, shredded

400g can haricot beans

handful chopped parsley

For The Presto Croutes

Slices of crusty bread

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp presto

Method.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and lardons or bacon and fry for about 5 mins until the onion is starting to brown. Tip in the carrots, celery, potato and garlic, stir well and cook for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes, stock and sage, and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to simmer and cook partly covered for 30 mins, stirring in the cabbage after 15 mins. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pan with the parsley. Season and serve with pesto croûtes, see right, or crusty bread.

For the pesto croûtes: Cut 3-4 slices of crusty bread into chunks, about 2cm thick. Tip into an ovenproof pan. Mix the olive oil and pesto, then add to the bread, tossing it with your hands until the croûtes are evenly coated. Bake in a moderate oven for about 10 mins until crisp.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, Feburary 2006

Image from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1870/winter-minestrone-with-pesto-crotes

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