Lamb Minestrone with Pesto

Serves 6

This recipe requires leftover meat from a slow cooked lamb shoulder. We recommend trying our amazing Nduja, Rosemary and Garlic Lamb Shoulder recipe and using the leftover meat for this vibrant, zingy soup.

Broth with pesto

For the pesto

1 Big bunch of basil
50g Hazelnuts, toasted in a hot oven until golden brown
30g Extra virgin olive oil
70g Finely grated parmesan
The zest and juice of half a lemon

  1. In a pestle and mortar or kitchen blender, smash together the herbs, nuts, cheese and lemon to make a rough paste. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly before reserving in the fridge until needed.

For the broth

The most important thing for a good minestrone is a well flavoured broth. Take all the liquid, vegetables and bones from the roasted lamb shoulder and if you have it, the rind from the parmesan, into a pan and cover them with 2L of water. Slowly simmer this stock for at least a couple of hours to get as much flavour as you can before passing it through a fine sieve. You should have at least 1500ml of finished stock to make this recipe.

The remainder of any meat left over from the lamb shoulder recipe, shredded into small pieces
500g fresh peas, husks removed
100g fresh broad beans
200g English asparagus, trimmed and cut into two or three pieces
2 Yellow courgettes, thickly sliced
1 Head of fennel, finely shaved
100g Broken spaghetti or any other pasta shape you have to use up
20 Basil leaves 
100g Radishes, tops on, washed and cut in half
100g Baby carrots, tops on, washed and cut in half

(For added flavour, keep the husks from the peas and char them lightly in a very hot, dry pan or on a griddle. Add these into the stock for a beautiful sweetness and an interesting flavour. This is also a great way to prevent any waste with this recipe)

  1. Bring the stock to the boil and add the pasta.
  2. Cook for 7 minutes before adding the carrots and fennel. Continue cooking for a minute before adding the remaining vegetables and the shredded lamb.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and gently cook to warm the lamb and lightly cook the vegetables. Remember all these spring vegetables are great eaten raw so be careful not overcook them.
  4. Season the broth with a little salt if required and plenty of black pepper.
  5. Divide the broth evenly between six serving bowls and put a generous spoon of the pesto in the middle of each one, finish with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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