Vegetable Soup with Parmesan and Basil Pesto
For the Soup
1/2 cup dried white beans
up to 3 quarts water
1 cup French Green Beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small zucchini, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 leek (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped
4 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup small soup pasta, like Acini di Pepe
Fresh Ground Pepper
1 cup finely grated parmesan, plus extra for topping
Place the dried white beans in a bowl and cover by 2-inches with boiling water. Soak for 1 hour or until the beans have doubled in size. Drain.
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove them from the liquid with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water. Drain.
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 10 minutes. Add the white beans, potatoes, celery, and 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Cover partially and simmer for 15 minutes. Add zucchini, green beans, leek, tomatoes and pasta. Cook another 10 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and grated parmesan. Simmer another 10 minutes or until beans are tender. Add additional water and seasoning if necessary.
For Basil Pesto Topping
2 small garlic cloves
2 cups fresh basil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
In a mini food processor, pulse together the garlic and basil. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Puree until well combined.
Ladle soup into bowls. Swirl in a spoonful of pesto. Top with grated parmesan and serve.
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