Spring vegetable soup with basil pesto

A food processor is required if making the pesto from scratch
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leek, washed and chopped
  • 100g green bean, cut into lengths
  • 1 large courgette, diced
  • 1.2l hot vegetable stock
  • 3 vine-ripe tomato deseeded and chopped
  • 400g can cannellini bean
  • 1 nest vermicelli (about 35g)
  • 25g pack basil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 25g pistachio nuts
  • 25g vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Heat the oil, then fry the leek until softened. Add the green beans and courgette, then pour in the stock and season to taste. Cover and simmer for 5 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pesto: put the basil, garlic, nuts, Parmesan, oil and ½ tsp salt in a food processor, then blitz until smooth.
  3. Stir the tomatoes, cannellini beans and vermicelli into the soup pan, then simmer for 5 mins more until the veg are just tender. The soup and pesto can now be chilled for up to a day.
  4. Reheat the soup, if necessary, then stir in half the pesto. Ladle into bowls and serve with the rest of the pesto spooned on top. Eat with chunks of crusty bread.