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The Silver Spoon, Phaidon Press

Serves 4-6

• 1/4 cup lardons
• 1/2 garlic clove
• 1/2 onion
• 1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig
• 1 celery stalk
• 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 3 potatoes, chopped
• 2 zucchini, chopped
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 3/4 cups peas, shelled
• 1/2 Savoy cabbage, shredded
• 3/4 cup fresh shelled borlotti beans
• 1/2 cup long-grain rice
• 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
• 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
• salt
• water
• Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to serve

Finely chop the lardons with the garlic and onion.

When the mixture is quite fine, add the parsley and celery and chop.

Put the mixture into a pan, add the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, zucchini and oil and pour in 8 3/4 cups water.

Season with salt and bring to a boil over high heat.

Lower the heat and cook for at least 2 hours.

Add the peas and cabbage, simmer for 15 minutes, then add the rice and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a further 18 minutes until it is tender.

Stir in the herbs, ladle into a soup tureen and serve with plenty of Parmesan.

This minestrone should be fairly thick.

It is excellent hot, but it is also good served warm or cold in the summer.


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