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Spring Vegetable Soup With Pesto

One bowl of this hearty soup provides three of the recommended five daily servings of vegetables.

  • Servings: 6
Spring Vegetable Soup With Pesto

Photography: James Baigrie

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2005


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


  1. Cover beans with 6 cups cold water in a large pot. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 1 hour.

  2. 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.

  3. Add leeks, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth, and 2 cups water. Simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  4. Make pesto: Finely chop garlic in a food processor. Add basil; process. Add cheese and oil; process until combined.

  5. 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.

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