Claire Thomson’s version of the summery and flavourful Provencal variation of minestrone.
In a large heavy-based pan, sweat the onion or leek over a gentle heat for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and carrot and cook for a further 5 or so minutes. You want this mix to be completely melting, soft and translucent, but in no way scorched.
Add the diced courgette and potatoes and continue cooking over a low heat until the potatoes are cooked through.
In a second pan of boiling water cook the orzo according to packet instructions then drain and add a splash of olive oil.Add the raw peas and cooked orzo to the vegetable mix. Add the hot water or stock, and finally the diced tomato and cooked beans.
Bring the soup to the boil, squeeze the lemon in and check for seasoning. Make the pistou: put the cheese, basil and the garlic into a food processor and blitz briefly. Combine the oil in a steady stream with the processor running.
Serve the soup with the pistou on the table, ready to dollop.