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December 17, 2013

Minestrone Soup

The Big Book of Vegetarian by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

  • This Italian-stye soup features vegetables, beans, pasta, and—in a spicy twist—fresh basil pesto. Meredith Lee/For The HSUS

Serves 8


1 cup (225g) dried white or red kidney beans, picked over
4 cups (900ml) water
3 1/2 cups (790ml) vegetable broth
1 16-oz can (400g) whole tomatoes in juice, unsalted, undrained
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 oz (1 cup) (225g) fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 cup (225g) uncooked elbow macaroni or small pasta shells
1 medium zucchini (courgette), quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 cup (large bunch) loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 clove garlic

Put the beans in a 2-3 quart (approx 2-3 litre) saucepan (or the pot you will cook the soup in) and add water to cover by about 3 inches (7.5cm). Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let soak for 1-2 hours. Drain and rinse.

In a large pot, combine the beans, 4 cups water, and broth. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender, about 55 minutes.

Drain the juice from the canned tomatoes into the pot. Chop the tomatoes and add to the pot along with the potato, onions, carrots and green beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the pesto, put the basil, garlic, olive oil, and a teaspoon of water into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add more water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed.

Add the macaroni, zucchini, salt and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Spoon the soup into bowls and swirl a spoonful of the pesto in each bowl.

Tip: Use canned beans instead of dried beans to make the soup faster.

Recipe from The Big Book of Vegetarian by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley.