Spring Vegetable Soup With Pesto
One bowl of this hearty soup provides three of the recommended five daily servings of vegetables.
For the Pesto
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper
For the Soup
- 1 cup dried navy or white beans, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 medium leeks, diced and rinsed well
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 8 ounces Red Bliss or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 pound plum tomatoes, cubed
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 ounces green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small zucchini, cubed
- 1 cup fresh shelled or thawed frozen peas
Cover beans with 6 cups cold water in a large pot. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 1 hour.
Drain beans; return to pot. Cover with 3 quarts cold water. Add bay leaf and thyme; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, partially covered, until beans are barely tender, about 2 hours.
Add leeks, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth, and 2 cups water. Simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Make pesto: Finely chop garlic in a food processor. Add basil; process. Add cheese and oil; process until combined.
Add green beans and zucchini to pot. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes. Add peas; cook until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls; top each with 1 heaping teaspoon pesto.