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  • Writer's pictureLucie Ellis

Day 2. Mussel Minestrone and wild garlic pesto (we went foraging 🙄)

Updated: May 22, 2020

A few handfuls of mussels, cleaned

Glass of white wine (if you can spare it)

Half an onion, chopped

A clove of garlic, crushed

1 leek, sliced and rinsed

A stick of celery, chopped

500ml stock

A handful of small dried pasta or snapped spaghetti

Half a tin of cannellini

A chopped courgette, or a handful of kale or peas

A big bunch of wild garlic and basil

A small chunk of Parmesan

A handful of pine nuts

Olive oil


Put a pan on the heat for 30 seconds then throw in the mussels and wine, clamp on a lid and cook for a couple of minutes on high til the mussels have opened.

Strain saving the liquid.

Wipe the pan and put it back on medium with a splash of olive oil.

Sweat the onion, garlic, leek and celery for 5 minutes with a pinch of salt.

Pour on the mussels liquid carefully and don’t use the dregs as they will be gritty.

Add the hot stock and the pasta and simmer til just cooked then add the rest of the veg and beans and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season!

Make the pesto by blanching the wild garlic in boiling water for 30 seconds then run under cold tap and squeeze out excess liquid.

Grate the Parmesan and blitz with the garlic, basil and pine nuts, and enough oil to make a loose pesto. Taste and add salt if needed.

To serve pick the meat out of the mussels and stir through the soup with a big handful of pesto to warm through.

If you don’t have mussels crisp up some bacon or chorizo and scatter on, or stir through leftover shredded roast chicken. If you don’t have wild garlic make a pesto using any soft herbs you have. If you have other root veg you can use instead of leeks or celery; carrots or celeriac would be good. Use any pasta any beans, one or other or both. Save the spare pesto for all sorts of other things. 🤗

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