Pea Minestrone with Sun Dried Tomato, Polenta and Basil Muffins

Pea Minestrone with Sun Dried Tomato, Polenta and Basil Muffins

1 hour

Serves 4

Nutritional information

Per soup serving: 177 cals, 5.1g fat, 1g saturates, 6.4g sugar, 1.9g salt

Per muffin, 205 cals, 6.2g fat, 2.5g saturates, 2.4g sugar, 0.8g salt


For the soup:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 small carrot, trimmed, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

150ml dry white wine

750ml vegetable stock

100g orzo pasta

2 medium courgettes, diced into small pieces

300g frozen peas

6 spring onions, trimmed and cut into small rounds

1 tbsp chopped chives

1 tbsp chopped mint

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp chopped basil

Sea salt and black pepper


For the muffins (Makes 9 muffins):

150g Plain flour

150g Instant polenta

2 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp mustard powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

75g Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Handful basil leaves, chopped

75g parmesan cheese, grated

250ml semi skimmed milk

2 eggs, beaten

3 tbsp rapeseed oil


Preheat Oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5

To make the muffins, in a mixing bowl sift flour, polenta, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and mustard powder, season with sea salt and pepper and mix together. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, basil leaves and parmesan cheese and thoroughly mix. In a separate jug combine the milk, rapeseed oil and eggs, add to the dry mixture and combine together.

Grease a muffin tray and evenly spoon in the mixture. Bake for 15- 20 minutes until cooked and golden brown. Set aside.

For the soup, heat the olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan, add the onion and carrot and cook over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring until slightly soft, add the garlic and sweat for a further minute. Add the white wine and increase the heat to reduce by half. Add the vegetable stock and orzo pasta and cook for a further 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the courgettes, peas and spring onions and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the chives, mint, parsley and basil and adjust the seasoning.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and the sundried-tomato, polenta and basil muffins.

Tip: If the soup is a little too thick, add more vegetable stock

Serves 4-6.


The less water you use when cooking peas, the less vitamin C is lost. Steaming helps to conserve this vitamin.

When boiling frozen peas, add enough water to cover, bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for 3 minutes. To microwave 227 grams (8oz) of frozen peas add 15ml (1 tablespoon) of water, place in a non metallic container and cover. Cook on full power for 4 minutes (750W) or 4 1/2 minutes (650W)