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Recipe: Quinoa Minestrone Topped with Kale Pesto

Recipe: Quinoa Minestrone Topped with Kale Pesto

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Using quinoa adds protein and ensures this tasty meal is gluten-free.


  • 100g chopped pancetta
  • 70g rinsed, tri-colour quinoa
  • 2 small finely chopped zucchini
  • 1 large coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 large peeled, coarsely chopped carrot
  • 1 stick coarsely chopped celery
  • 1l reduced-salt chicken stock
  • 400g can rinsed and drained borlotti beans
  • 2 halved garlic cloves
  • 2tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 410g can crushed tomatoes

Kale Pesto

  • 65g shredded kale leaves
  • 1 small halved garlic clove
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp water
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 20g finely grated parmesan


  1. Process carrots, celery, garlic and onion in a food processor until finely chopped. In a saucepan, heat the oil over a medium-low heat and add pancetta. Cook while stirring for two minutes or until golden and add the bay leaf and vegetable mixture. Cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for four minutes or until soft. Uncover and cook for another two minutes.
  2. Add tomato and stock to pan and increase heat to high. Bring to boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in quinoa and simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in borlotti beans and cook for two minutes until zucchini and quinoa are tender. Season with pepper.
  3. To make the pesto, process kale, garlic and Parmesan until finely chopped. Combine water, juice and oil in a jug and add this mixture to the kale a slow and steady stream until thoroughly combined. Serve soup topped with pesto.

Serves 4