Summer Minestrone with Pesto

November 14, 2010 by andrea | Filed under Italian, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup/Stew, Vegetable.

I got together with a group of girlfriends from my bible study on Friday to organize a friend’s garage. The friend we were helping is a mom of two young boys and her husband has been in the hospital for several months awaiting a heart transplant. Needless to say, it’s been a difficult season for this family, so a chilly, overcast November day was not going to deter us from the work we had set out to do. We were there to help a girlfriend, to let her know that she and her family are loved, and in some small way, to offer hope.

After we finished our project, we stood around the kitchen together eating a bowl of this Summer Minestrone with Pesto. Friends sharing life together and a hot bowl of soup…this is what it’s all about!

Now about the minestrone…I doubled the recipe so there would be plenty of soup for all of us. I used vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, russets instead of the red-skinned potatoes, diced canned tomatoes instead of fresh (28-oz can for double recipe), chopped kale instead of spinach, and extra carrots instead of green beans. About 10 minutes before serving, I added a little bit of uncooked pasta to the simmering soup which helped thicken it up a bit. Once the pasta was cooked, we ladled the piping hot soup into bowls and garnished each serving with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Yumm!

Summer Minestrone with Pesto
-recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine

When a generous garnish of pesto gets stirred in, the soup turns a vibrant green and becomes perfumed with the intense and sweet aroma of basil mixed with garlic. Makes 6 servings.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), drained
2 tomatoes, peeled, crushed
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
6 tablespoons pesto
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add broth and next 7 ingredients. Increase heat to high and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pot, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach; simmer 3 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into 6 bowls; garnish each with 1 tablespoon pesto. Serve, passing cheese separately.

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2 Responses to “Summer Minestrone with Pesto”

  1. Your friend is blessed to have such caring people in her life. Soup warms the body and friendship warms our souls! Bless you dear!

  2. Amy says:

    Andrea, Made this soup tonight. As you did, I doubled the recipe and I plan to share it with an elderly couple in my neighborhood who could use some tasty nutritious food. My tummy thanks you for the yummy recipe.