Summer Minestrone with Pesto Purée
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.
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
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.
You'll have leftover basil pesto purée. Refrigerate, tightly covered, and use as a pasta sauce.
Recipe from "Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook