Asparagus Soup with Mint Pesto Recipe

Serves

4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 700g/1lb 9oz asparagus, woody ends removed and stalks roughly chopped
  • 1 1/3fl oz/4 cups vegetable stock or vegetable stock made from gluten- and dairy-free stock powder
  • 6 large mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mint pesto:

  • 100g/3 1/2oz/5 cups mint leaves, plus extra to decorate
  • 50g/1 3/4oz/2 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt

Method

* Step 1: Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for two to three minutes until golden. Stir in the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, for three to four minutes until starting to soften.

* Step 2: Add the stock and chopped mint leaves and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes.

* Step 3: Meanwhile, make the pesto. Rinse and carefully pat the mint dry in a clean tea towel. Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to turn golden. Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor.

* Step 4: Add the mint leaves and garlic and start to blend. With the motor running, add the oil and blend until the mixture forms a thick, dense sauce. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt to taste.

Taken from Simply Gluten Free and Dairy Free by Grace Cheetham © Duncain Baird Publishers, 2013

Images: From Simply Gluten Free and Dairy Free by Grace Cheetham © Commissioned Photography William Lingwood/Duncan Baird Publishers, 2013

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