Pesto Bean Soup
When I eat pesto on fettuccine, I always wish I could skip the fettuccine and eat the pesto with a spoon. This Italian vegetarian soup recipe solves my dilemma!
Prep time: 20 min; Total time: 20 min
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 c. vegetable broth (or 2 cans)
- 1 c. cannelini beans (or 1 can, rinsed and drained)
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- Large handful fresh basil (chopped)
- Large handful fresh baby spinach (chopped)
- 3 tbsp. parmesan, grated (optional)
- Pasta, cooked
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Toasted pine nuts, for garnish
If you are using dried beans, boil them in water for 5 minutes the night before. Discard the water and then soak your beans (in new water) overnight. Change the soak water once while beans are soaking and discard soak water before beginning to make your soup. Cook beans in a pressure cooker for about 10-12 minutes or boil them on the stove for 40 minutes before beginning to make your soup (you can get your beans started first and then begin working on the rest of the soup while they cook).
Start cooking the pasta in a separate pot before beginning to make the rest of your soup.
Heat onion and olive oil over medium high heat. Add minced garlic and continue to saute until onions are translucent. Add broth, bay leaf, and beans. Cover and bring to a boil.
Once the soup is boiling (and pasta, if you are including it, is al dente), remove the lid and add basil, spinach, parmesan cheese, and pasta. Stir the greens in until they wilt. Taste and add salt or fresh ground pepper if necessary.
Toast pine nuts on the stove for 3-5 minutes and add as a garnish.
My favorite pasta to use in this soup is small noodles, such as farfalle (butterflies) or macaroni. Or, you can serve it with brown
Try using other kinds of beans, such as kidney, Great Northern, or lima beans.
Add whatever kinds of vegetables you have in your kitchen. Try adding additional herbs too (parsley would taste great!).
If you don’t have pine nuts handy, use walnuts instead.