Vegetable minestrone with poached quail eggs

Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes Serves: 4

Difficulty: 2/5

You must think I’m nuts poaching quails eggs, but let me let you into a little culinary secret that I learnt some ten or so years ago. This is an impressive dish to serve at a dinner party and you can pass on the trick to your friends or just keep it to yourself.


  • 12 Clarence Court’s® ‘Free to Fly’ quail eggs
  • 100ml white wine or malt vinegar
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock, or a couple of good quality stock cubes, dissolved in the same amount of hot water
  • 150g podded weight of small broad beans
  • 1 small leek cut into rough 1cm dice and well rinsed
  • 100g shelled peas
  • 60g French beans, cut into 5mm pieces
  • 1tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1tbsp chopped chives

  • Print Recipe


    Bring a pan with about half a litre of water to simmering point, meanwhile put the vinegar into a bowl and carefully crack the quails eggs into the vinegar using a small knife to initially crack the shell. Have a bowl of cold water ready to transfer the eggs into once poached.

    Pour the eggs and vinegar into the pan of simmering water and continue to simmer for just over a minute or until you can see the whites of the eggs have set. Take the eggs out carefully with a slotted spoon and place into the bowl of cold water. After a minute, remove the eggs onto a plate lined with some kitchen paper.

    To make the soup, simmer the leek in the vegetable stock for 10 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, blanch the broad beans in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, drain and remove the outer shell if they are large.

    Add the, peas and French beans, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the broad beans, parsley and chives, and simmer for another 5 minutes and re-season if necessary. To serve just ladle the soup into serving bowls and drop 3 eggs into each bowl.