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Minestrone Verde with Chilli Pesto Scones

This light yet warming soup will hit the spot on a cold wintry night, especially after over-indulgence. Serve with chilli scones for the ultimate dipping partner.

Minestrone Verde with Chilli Pesto Scones

Serves 6-8

Chilli Pesto Scones
2½ cups self raising flour
50g chilled butter, cut into cubes
¾ cup buttermilk, plus extra 
for brushing
1 medium red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
⅓ cup fresh basil pesto, plus extra for serving

Minestrone Verde
1 tbsp olive oil
2 chorizo sausages, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, halved lengthways and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 stalks celery, chopped
¾ cup white wine
4 litres chicken stock
1 bunch broccolini, chopped
100g brussels sprouts, cut into quarters
400g cooked cannelleni beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups kale leaves, shredded

To make scones, preheat oven to 200˚C. Line tray with baking paper. Sift flour into a bowl. Season to taste. With fingertips, rub in butter to form fine crumbs. Make a well in centre and add buttermilk, chilli and pesto. Use a table knife to stir into a soft, sticky dough, then knead into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface. Press out to 3cm thick circle. Cut in quarters. Slice each quarter in half to makes 8 triangles and arrange on tray. Brush with extra buttermilk. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden.

To make minestrone, heat oil in a stockpot. Add chorizo. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add onion, leek, garlic, fennel, thyme and celery. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add wine and reduce by half. Add stock, then bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Add broccolini, sprouts and beans. Simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in kale.

Serve warm with scones and top with extra pesto.

+ Smart Tip: To make a vegetarian version of this minestrone just leave out the chorizo and use vegetable stock.

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