Archive for May, 2013

The one and only green pesto minestrone (Lorraine Pascale)

May 22, 2013

What you need:

  • Oil
  • 5 bacon rashers, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 stick of celery, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1/2 a butternut squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 squidges of tomato puree
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 900ml of a good liquid stock
  • 150g of pasta (whatever you have in the house, I used penne)
  • 1x400g can of haricot beans, drained
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper


  • 8 tbsp of ready-made pesto

OR… home-made pesto:

  • 60g of pine nuts
  • 60g of Parmesan
  • 140ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch of basil leaves only

Put the bacon in a pan with a drizzle of oil and cook over a medium heat until cooked.

Add celery and carrot and cook for around five minutes. Add the squash, garlic, tomato puree, two sprigs of rosemary, bay leaf, tomatoes, stock, pasta and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil and let it bubble for as long as the pasta needs to cook.

Meanwhile, make the pesto if you are doing a home-made version. Put all the ingredients into a small blender and blitz, then set aside.

Once the pasta is cooked, add the beans and spring onions and cook for a few minutes until they are heated through.

Taste the soup. Season if necessary and divide between four bowls. Add 2 tbsp of pesto and serve. (Serves 4)

Red Thai seafood soup with lemongrass, basil and mint (Lorraine Pascale)

May 22, 2013

What you need:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stick, very finely sliced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (I found them with the herbs and spices in the supermarket)
  • 1 x 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1-2 red chillies, finely sliced (remove seeds before slicing for less heat)
  • 100g of chestnut mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 100g of Thai red curry paste
  • 200ml of fish stock
  • 1x400ml can of coconut milk, preferably not low fat
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (or 1/2½ tsp of salt)
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 100g green beans, topped and tailed
  • 200g raw, jumbo prawns
  • 300g sustainably-caught fish, such as salmon or pollack, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 bunch of basil, leaves only
  • 1 bunch of mint, leaves only

Put a little oil into a medium pan over a low heat. Add the garlic, spring onions, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, chillies and mushrooms and cook for three minutes until everything begins to soften.

Then add the red curry paste and cook for a couple of minutes and stir until it begins to release its aroma.

Tip in the fish stock and the coconut milk, along with the fish sauce and caster sugar and turn up the heat.

Let it bubble away for three to four minutes.

Add the green beans, prawns and fish and cook for about five minutes, or until the seafood is cooked through.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, then divide between four serving bowls.

Squeeze the juice of half a lime into each bowl, top with the herbs and serve. (Serves 4)

Read more: