Tuscan Bean Minestrone Soup with Basil Parsley Pesto

 

Here is my twist on the classic basil pesto! Honey is the secret ingredient. Using both lemon juice and zest adds real zing to the flavor of the basil and parsley. Minestrone means BIG SOUP in Italian and this fits the description perfectly. The zucchini is sautéed separately and added at the end of the cooking time so it stays crisp and green when serving the soup. The basil parsley pesto is added at the end of the cooking time to enrich the soup and then a dollop is added as a topping to serve. Serve this Tuscan soup with white or wild rice on top, a dollop of pesto and then a sprinkle of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. I like to serve my homemade cornbread to accompany this soup. COOKS NOTES: Use your food processor slice disk to prep all the vegetables. They will be uniform in size.

What you will need

1 cup packed whole fresh basil leaves, no stems

1/2 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves, no stems

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds

2 whole garlic cloves, peeled

1 whole lemon, juice + zest

2 tablespoons honey, Yeah!

salt to taste

2 tablespoons good olive oil

2 cups sliced sweet onion, peeled

2 cups sliced carrots, peeled

1 cup sliced celery

4 whole garlic cloves, peeled + smashed

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffanade

3 sprigs fresh thyme

salt + pepper to taste

2 -32 ounce cartons chicken broth, Swanson Natural Goodness is perfect

1 -15 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

1 -15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained + rinsed

1 cup water

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, coarsley chopped

1 tablespoon good olive oil

2 medium green zucchini, skin on, cut in half, seeds removed, cut to 1/4" slice

TOPPING: dollop of pesto + sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

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