Minestrone with Pesto

minestrone with Pesto

Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. This hodgepodge soup will go a long way in making sure you’re not one of them. Vary the specific vegetables depending on what’s in your fridge and what looks good in the market, but be sure to finish with a spoonful of jarred pesto, which helps tie the whole bowl together. 


Makes 4 servings

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or a mixture of stock and water)
½ tsp dried thyme
½ (14–16 oz) can white beans (aka cannellini), drained
Parmesan for grating 
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz Yukon gold or red potatoes, cubed
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
8 oz green beans, ends trimmed, halved
Salt and black pepper to taste

Per serving:
200 calories
5 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
490 mg sodium

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and green beans. Season with a bit of salt and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes to release the vegetables’ aromas. Add the tomatoes, stock, and thyme and turn the heat down to low. Season with salt (if still needed) and pepper to taste. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, and up to 45.

Step 2

Before serving, stir in the white beans and heat through. Serve with a dollop of pesto and bit of grated Parmesan.

Master the technique

The best part about minestrone is that the same basic technique can be applied to nearly any combination of vegetables. Change up this recipe depending on the season, keeping the onion, garlic, potatoes, pesto, tomatoes, and stock intact but adding one of these timely teams:
Fall: Cubed butternut squash and halved Brussels sprouts Winter: Chopped Swiss chard, shredded cabbage, and chopped celery
*Spring: Start with cauliflower, then add asparagus and green peas or fava beans in the final minutes before serving