The colder months are certainly making themselves known…. and there’s no better way to warm up than with a piping hot bowl of hearty soup! Magnus Jonsson, Head Chef of Blond Catering, shares a great recipe for minestrone soup below…

Ingredients

1 tbs olive oil

2 Australian lamb shanks

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped

1 fennel, trimmed reserving fronds, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, finely chopped

1 zucchini, finely chopped

1 tbs Morrocan seasoning

400gm can cherry tomatoes

6 cups (1.5L) chicken stock

½ cup (100gm) French-style lentils

½ cup (100gm) pearl barley

¼ bunch kale leaves finely shredded

1/3 cup (95gm) Greek-style yoghurt

Pistachio Gremolata

¼ cup mint leaves

1 tbs lemon zest

2 tbs coarsely chopped pistachios

Method

Heat half the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook lamb, turning occasionally, for 8 mins or until browned all over. Transfer to a slow cooker.

Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the onion, carrot, fennel, celery and zucchini. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until vegetables start to brown. Add the Moroccan seasoning. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Spoon mixture over the lamb in the slow cooker.

Add the tomatoes, stock, lentils and barley to the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high (or 6 hours on low) or until lamb is falling off the bone.

Transfer lamb to a heatproof bowl. Coarsely shred meat and discard bones. Return to slow cooker with kale. Season.

To make the pistachio gremolata, combine the mint, lemon zest and pistachio in a small bowl.

Serve the soup with the yoghurt, gremolata and reserved fennel fronds.