Basil Pesto Minestrone is a heart but healthy soup, topped with fresh pesto!
If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen that Marc and I spent a long weekend in Chicago to celebrate our one year anniversary. Two things. One: I cannot believe we have been married a whole year! Where does time go and how can I make it come back?! Two: If life could just involve exploring different cities with my husband, I’d be one happy girl.
Somehow during the time we were gone, it went from being 90 degrees and humid in the Twin Cities to a crisp and cool 60 degrees. Wearing a sweater and boots has never felt so good and now (most importantly) I can finally start baking all of the apple and pumpkin things I can imagine and begin cooking soups and stews galore.
I actually made this soup last week (yes, in the 90 degree weather) but really NOW would be the ideal time to make it. But last week I had a ton of veggies from my CSA to be used and despite the weather I was craving soup. I love the idea of minestrone soup, being that it is chock-full of veggies, which can be substituted for whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand. While I added summer squash, celery, carrots, and tomatoes but his would also be great with green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, or even diced sweet potatoes.
Minestrone is also a convenient way to get rid of those half-full boxes of pasta that we all have in our cupboards. So while you can switch up the veggies, beans, and pasta shapes, there is one really super incredibly important must-have ingredient in this minestrone recipe: the pesto! Don’t leave it out.
The pesto adds a punch of flavor and was a great reason to use some of my ice cube tray frozen pesto cubes (the BEST way to freeze pesto!). This basil pesto minestrone soup is delicious with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and another dollop of pesto on top, with a side of crusty bread. It was delicious the first night for dinner, but like many soups it just keeps getting better and better the days after.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 summer squash diced
- 3 tbsp pesto
- 1 14 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 4-5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried small-shaped pasta such as elbow or small shells
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese for topping
- In large pot, add olive oil and heat oven medium-high heat.
- Add onions and cook a 4-5 minutes, until they start to soften.
- Add carrots, celery, squash, and pesto and cook another 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add beans, tomatoes, broth, and pasta.
- Bring to a simmer and cook 15 minutes, until veggies are soft and pasta is cooked.
- You may need to add more broth/water depending on how much the pasta absorbed.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls, then top with Parmesan cheese and a dollop of pesto, if you desire.