Pesto Minestrone – This gorgeous, veggie-filled soup is the perfect thing to warm and fill you without weighing you down. (vegan and gluten free)
This pesto minestrone has been simmering away in my imagination since mid-July, when I was photographing this pesto. The sweltering temperatures kept me from being brave enough to test it, but a few weeks ago, we had a lot of grey, cloudy, drizzly days that just begged for soup. I’ve been testing it ever since.
My little basil plant has been in a sunny spot on my window sill and it’s made me happy every time I see it. I cleared out at least 2/3 of its leaves to make the pesto for this soup, so my fingers are crossed that I haven’t ruined it, but the pesto was perfect.
Notes on the Recipe:
Add a little protein. Add a little protein with white beans, Italian sausage, grilled chicken, or leftover roasted beef. It’s all delicious.
Grain free? No problem! Skip the pasta. I use the pasta as a way to talk my little ones into eating the soup, but I’ve also tried it several times without pasta and never miss it myself. When I don’t use pasta, I like adding a little shredded cabbage or spinach to the soup.
Swap the veggies. You can add diced bell peppers, roasted cubes of butternut squash, a little shredded cabbage, or a few handfuls of kale or spinach to the mix. Take a look in your refrigerator and see what needs to be used.
Pick your Pesto. I love this dairy (and nut free) pesto option. It’s fabulous. You can absolutely use your favorite store-bought pesto!
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- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, finely diced
- 2-3 stalks celery, finely diced
- 3-4 carrots, finely diced
- 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
- 1 cup green beans, cut into small pieces
- 1 (28oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 2-3 Tbsp minced sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
- 1 cup cooked small pasta (I use gluten free) or shredded cabbage or spinach
- ¼-1/3 cup pesto, for serving
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini and green beans. Cook another 3-4 minutes. (Add cabbage or spinach, if using)
- Stir in tomatoes, vegetable broth, water and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Bring to a simmer. Continue simmering until veggies are tender. Stir in pasta. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- To serve, spoon a dollop of pesto into each bowl and stir to combine.