Summer Minestrone with Pesto Purée

Summer Minestrone with Pesto Purée


  • 1 cup dried cannellini or Great Northern beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 leeks, white parts thinly sliced and washed
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, unpeeled and diced
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • Salt, to taste

Basil Pesto Purée:

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or chopped walnuts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups loosely packed basil leaves, washed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Serves 8 to 10

This soup is based on the classic Provencal Coupe au Pistou. Bright summer vegetables combine in light soup, garnished with a swirl of basil pesto purée. Directions:
1. For soup: In medium saucepan, combine cannellini beans, bay leaves, 2 crushed garlic cloves, and 8 cups water. Bring to a simmer; let cook, partially covered, for 50 minutes until beans are tender. Strain; reserving broth and beans separately. Combine bean broth and chicken broth; add water to equal 10 cups.
2. Warm oil in large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, potatoes, and remaining 4 cloves garlic, chopped. Cook 15 minutes, stirring often. Add reserved broth and water; bring to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini; cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cannellini beans, tomatoes, and green beans; cook 10 minutes until vegetables are tender and soup is warmed through. 3. For basil pesto purée: In blender or food processor, purée garlic, nuts, and a sprinkle of salt until finely chopped. Add basil and oil; blend until smooth. Add cheese and blend until combined. Taste and add salt if needed. 4. Serve warm soup garnished with a dollop of basil pesto puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Tip
You'll have leftover basil pesto purée. Refrigerate, tightly covered, and use as a pasta sauce.
Recipe from " Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook."