Thursday, December 18, 2008

Minestrone with Pesto

Minestrone is the name for a thick variety of Italian soup that contains seasonal vegetables and also sometimes contains pasta or rice.Common ingredients to this soup include onions, tomatoes, celery, carrot and beans. This soup has always been a favorite of mine, both while eating out at Italian restaurants and also when I am in the mood for hearty Italian soups at home.

In all the time that I have had this soup I have never had a variation of this soup with pesto in it. So I was intrigued when I saw this variation mentioned in a cookbook. I did not waste any time in trying this variation and adapted the recipe to work with the ingredients I had on hand and to suit our taste. I thought the addition of pesto took this soup to another level and I thoroughly enjoyed this soup along with savory oat muffins. Try this minestrone when you are looking for something simple and hearty yet with an unusual touch to it.




Ingredients and Method to make Minestrone soup with pesto

1 cup white beans (cannelini or northern beans) to be soaked for 8 hours

1 large onion cut fine
1/2 cup carrots cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup frozen peas
4 stalks of celery cut into small pieces (yielded about 1 heaped cup of cut celery)
2 large tomatoes cut into small pieces (yielded about 2 cups of cut tomatoes)
2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into half inch pieces (yielded about 2 cups of cut potatoes)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1/4 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
3 tbsp pesto sauce
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)

Soak white beans in sufficient water for 8 hours with a pinch of baking soda (adding soda is optional)

When the beans have soaked for 8 hours, rinse them thoroughly and place them in a large heavy bottomed pan with sufficient water and let it cook until soft.
(when the water initially boils, there may be some heavy froth on top,you can skim and remove this froth and let the beans boil in clear water)

When the beans are cooked remove and keep aside.

In the same pan, heat olive oil and add cut onions to it and saute until transparent.

Add tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes become soft and mushy

Add all the vegetables and saute for a minute.

Add water (about 4 cups) and all the herbs and spices (except the pesto sauce) and let it simmer until the vegetables are cooked.

When the vegetables are cooked, add cooked white beans and pesto sauce and adjust water to get required consistency and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve hot with any rustic bread  or savory muffins to make a complete meal

Serves about 3 to 4

Both Ramya  and VG   have given the Yum blog award to this site. Thanks to both of you for thinking of this site for this award. 

I would in turn like to pass this on to Pearls of EastIndhuVarsha  , Sumathi , Navita   and Pavani  

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39 comments :

anudivya said...

Usha, I wish I had that bowl now... yeah gloves in hindsight would have been a good idea... but I guess the excitement got to me. :)

Bharti said...

Love the minestrone with pesto.

Varsha Vipins said...

Wow..I lovee peasss..This looks like my fav peas curry..:)..Thanx a ton dear for the award..am so excited..:)

sumathi said...

Wow!! yummy soup .. definetly will give it a try..Thanx a ton for the award..am so excited being my first :)

Curry Leaf said...

Very good Usha,I too had made it.Perfect for winter

Gita's Kitchen said...

The soup looks so comforting, a treat for a cold evening :)

Laavanya said...

I made a soup with potato, pasta & pesto ( a tarla dalal recipe if i remember right) and loved it.... this would've been a nice bright twist to the usual minestrone.

DEESHA said...

thatz such a warmer

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

oh this is a new combo..picture looks very inviting.. looks yummy with all the veges.

Indhu said...

Hi Usha,
that is a comforting bowl of soup. It is snowing here right now. Wish I could have that soup tonight :)

Thanks a lot for the award. :)

Andhra Flavors said...

hey Usha I have one snack item similar to your south indian mixture. but it delayed to post, because I dont know the english name of that ingredient.
Ohh "Organic cornflakes" what a suitable name. now iam going to post. thanks for your information.

pesto soup looks delicious.

Sunshinemom said...

Yes, this is a little unusual for me too! I love minestrone soup and pesto individually so why not marry them:)

Pam said...

Excellent recipe...this soup looks fantastic. Congrats on your award.

Navita said...

Thanks so much for the award Usha..u brought sunshine to me..like ur name :D

Shama Nagarajan said...

soup looks yummy........delicious

sowmya said...

very comforting..and healthy too..

Malar Gandhi said...

My brother was talking about this soup a big time, had no clue at all...i ma glad that u posted!!! GUess I cud' try these in future!:)

AnuSriram said...

That looks hot and delicious! A gr8 treat for this snowy weather.

Premyscakes said...

excellent recipe, i will give a try too.

Jaishree said...

The soup looks yummy,hot and delicious!

Cham said...

I like this soup because it is hearty and filling , great for those wintery snowy days!

Navita said...

u have a small mention here dear-
http://cooking-up-a-storm-zaayeka.blogspot.com/2008/12/blueberry-and-papaya-syllabubamong.html

srikars kitchen said...

wow.. healthy soup.. looks colourful...

Navita said...

Hey Usha...its words of encouragement like u said..that propell me!

Lovely soup.

Soma said...

We always have minestrone at olive garden, & I make that type at home. nice idea with the pesto in it.

Purva Desai said...

Wish I could have this bowl of soup right now in this chilly weather, this is a perfect soup...

Keerthana said...

Hi Usha, Thanks a ton girl, so nice of u let me know about the problem with the comment form.It seems to be working fine now:)
also, Minestrone looks perfect for the winter..feel like having it right away!

Madhu said...

Hi Usha,
Came here through your comment, You have very cool and healthy recipes on your blog, I am glad to have found your site.

miss v said...

i love minestrone... but i've never incorporated pesto.

Uma said...

that bowl of soup is so good and tempting Usha! A healthy one.

Bharathy said...

Perfect sip for a winter evening!..Love the soup recipe, Usha :)

Sharmila said...

Minestrone and pesto sound a good combi. A new thing to try. :-)

SriLekha said...

looks delicious!
join in the savories event going in my blog!

Ramya said...

Unusual but looks really good. Looks like a good combination.

Lore said...

A hearty minestrone during winter is like a drop of water in the desert. Looks very delicious!

Dibs said...

Love soups of all kinds. I think soups are excellent in any type of weather! Its summer here in Sydney, and will make this soup anyway! :-)

Adlak's tiny world said...

perfect preparation for winter.. pic is inviting..

congrats on yummy award and u have forgotten mine dear.

Rajani said...

usha- soup looks yum,great for lunch, i guess maybe one of these days...

Uj said...

Would love to have a bowl of hot soup in this cold winter.. Looks delicious :D

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