Minestrone with Basil Pesto

Rich and hearty, this Italian vegetable soup has humble origins as a peasant dish, but is elevated to fine dining with a beautiful pesto garnish.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hour 10 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 12


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 large leeks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 3 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
  • 1 can (14 oz.) white cannellini beans
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup basil pesto


  • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat olive oil for 1 minute. Add celery carrot, potatoes, zucchini, onion, leeks, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, until onions turn translucent. Add stock, tomato, green beans, and potatoes. Bring to a full boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through and tender.
  • Add cooked pasta and beans. Bring back to a boil for 1 minute; season with white pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Serve in bowls, topped with Parmesan cheese and a spoonful of pesto.