Maren Conrad’s Spring Minestrone

“Minestrone is a really fun soup because you can incorporate so many different vegetables, but it can change seasonally," says Conrad. "In the winter, it can be hearty with cabbages and potatoes and root vegetables, and you can have a totally different version in the spring or summer.”
Photography By Joan Cusick | May 01, 2015


In a large but shallow pan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and fennel and gently saute for about 15 minutes. Then add the remaining fresh vegetables and minced herbs. When the vegetables are tender, transfer to a large pot. Add vegetable broth and spaghetti. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve in big bowls with a dollop of fresh pesto in the middle, a sprinkling of chopped basil and chives, and pinch of shaved Parmesan.

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  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, finely sliced and chopped
  • 1 bunch fine asparagus, woody ends removed, stalks finely sliced and tips left whole
  • 1 large cauliflower, divided into small florets
  • 1 bunch rainbow carrots, peeled, quartered lengthways and finely chopped
  • ¼ pound fresh green beans, cut in thirds
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 3 tablespoons basil, minced
  • 8–10 cups homemade or prepared vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces spaghetti, broken up
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 heaped tablespoons fresh pesto or cilantro pesto
  • 1 small handful fresh green or purple basil for garnish
  • 1 small handful fresh chives for garnish
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

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