• 2 carrots, roughly chopped
• 1 swede, peeled, roughly chopped
• 1 parsnip, peeled, roughly chopped
• 2 stalks celery, sliced
• 1 red onion, diced
• 1 fresh bay leaf
• 6 sprigs thyme
• ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
• 6 cloves garlic, smashed
• 10 black peppercorns
• 3L water
• 2 skinless chicken breast fillets, diced
• Extra ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
• 50g baby spinach leaves
• ½ cup basil leaves
• 20g parmesan, finely chopped
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 Tbsp water
• ¼ clove garlic, crushed
• Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
Put carrot, swede, parsnip, celery, onion, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, garlic, peppercorns and water in a large heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently uncovered for 2 hours.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken and cook for 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in extra parsley.
Meanwhile, to make spinach pesto, put baby spinach leaves, basil, parmesan, oil, water and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until a chunky sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve chicken and vegetable soup dolloped with spinach pesto.