Garden soup with carrot leaf pesto

  • Easy

This simple, fresh summer recipe is the perfect dish for using up your chard and carrot leaves.

Vegetable soup

The veg patch is bulging at the seams with colourful gluts. Cheerful rows of rainbow chard, spring-sown carrots, climbing beans and sprawls of courgettes.

We harvest everything before it spoils, and squirrel things away to tide us through less abundant months ahead. Huge batches of hearty soups and pasta sauces are a firm favourite, and this recipe, tweaked to include whatever is ready to pick, is one we make often.

Vegetable trug
Fresh ingredients may up the bulk of this fresh, summer soup/Credit: Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford


  • Butter 1 tbsp
  • Onions, chopped 2
  • Chard, leaves shredded, stems chopped 225g
  • Carrots, diced 4
  • Courgettes, diced 2
  • Large potato, diced 1
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped 2
  • Fresh oregano sprigs, leaves picked 10
  • Garlic cloves, minced 2
  • Freshly podded borlotti beans (or use tinned) 230g
  • Tinned tomatoes 800g
  • Tbsp tomato purée 2
  • Chicken or vegetable stock 500 ml
  • Walnuts 100g
  • Young carrot leaves, roughly chopped A handful
  • Parmesan, finely grated 30g
  • Juice of lemon 1
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 150ml


  • Step 1

    Melt the butter in a large pot over a low heat, add the onions and cook gently for a few mins. Add the chard stalks, carrots, courgettes and potato and cook for 15 mins until softened. Add the herbs and garlic and cook for another minute. Increase the heat then add the borlotti beans, tomatoes, tomato purée and stock. Bring to a simmer and leave to cook for 20 mins until the soup has thickened and the vegetables are tender. Then add the chard leaves, continue cooking for five minutes and season generously. 


  • Step 2

    To make the pesto, put the walnuts into a food processor and pulse into small pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to a thick paste. Spoon into a jar, until ready to serve. Serve the soup hot in deep bowls, dolloped with the pesto.

Chard/Credit: Kathy Bishop and Tom Crowford

The Seaonal Table

Kathy and Tom combine running their Somerset smallholding with full-time jobs, and also find time to write a blog called 
The Seasonal Table – a journal of slow food and slow living. 

Find out more about The Seasonal Table: