Sometimes there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of soup on a cold day. This Minestrone Soup with Pesto is the perfect antidote to the January blues. Packed with veggies, hearty pasta and finished off with a swirl of fresh pesto.
I can’t be the only person who is determined to pack more fruit and vegetables into their diet this year? I’m usually pretty good with the fruit side, I eat tonnes of the stuff, but I always feel I’m lacking on the veggies. This Minestrone Soup with Pesto is a great option for those of us wanting to get an extra dose of goodness. It’s absolutely packed with tasty vegetables, a big handful of shredded parmesan and a healthy swirl of fresh pesto.
The soup itself is absolutely delicious but it really comes alive when you add pesto. I can honestly say I’ll never eat minestrone soup without a drizzle of pesto again. I have included a recipe for fresh pesto below but you can use a good quality jar if you’ve not got the time or energy but I would highly recommend making it fresh. You’ll never go back to store bought!
The beauty of minestrone soup is it’s versatility. You can switch out veg, legumes or pasta depending on what you have available. Swap the cavolo nero for kale or spinach. Add in some green beans or chopped peppers. No cannellini beans, no problem, just use chickpeas or kidney beans. The world is your oyster. You can even add in some diced pancetta or chicken sausage if you’re looking for something a little more substantial.
Tips for making Minestrone Soup with Pesto
- Beans – I used cannelini beans in this soup but you can swap these out with any bean you have to hand. Chickpeas, butter beans and kidney beans all work great.
- Vegetables – As with the beans you can swap out any veggies you have on hand. Green beans, kale and spinach are great substitutions.
- Pesto – I’ve included a recipe for fresh pesto below but feel free to skip that step and use the jarred if you prefer.
- Make it vegan – Use a vegan parmesan alternative in the pesto and soup.
This Minestrone Soup with Pesto is the perfect antidote to the Jan blues. Packed with veg, hearty pasta & finished off with a swirl of pesto.
For the Pesto:
- I garlic clove
- 25g pinenuts, toasted
- 50g basil
- 25g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative) grated
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
For the Soup:
- 1tsp olive oil
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloved, minced
- 1tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 400g can cannellini beans
- 100g pasta
- 800ml vegetable stock
- 200g cavolo nero, chopped and thick stems removed
- pinch of sugar
- pinch of salt
- pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
- squeeze of lemon
- parmesan cheese
For the pesto:
- Add the garlic, pine nuts, basil, parmesan, lemon juice and olive oil to the bowl of a small food processor and pulse. Pour the pesto into a jar and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
For the soup:
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic. Fry over a medium low heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are nice and soft. Add the tomato puree and dried herbs and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, beans, pasta and stock to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Add the cavolo nero, sugar, salt and pepper and the lemon juice, taste to check the seasoning. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Ladle into bowls, top with a spoonful of pesto and a grating of parmesan cheese.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: easy dinners
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: soup, easy dinners, minestrone, summer, pesto