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.