Hearty Pesto Vegetable Soup

posted Dec 16, 2011, 1:56 PM by ItIsTheFOOD Janie Heinrich   [ updated Dec 16, 2011, 1:58 PM ]

Hearty Vegetable Pesto Soup

Fragrant basil pesto adds a taste of winter to this healthier version of a classic French vegetable pesto soup. Aromatic vegetables add flavour and plenty of vitamins while keeping the fat in check. What a wonderful way to eat your vegetables! The pesto can be made with basil as in recipe or with spinach or arugula for a new fresh taste.  This soup will nourish your body and your mind. Serve it with raw hard goat cheese slivers and dark rye bread dribbled with olive oil.  Enjoy...

500 g Italian tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 yellow zucchini, or 3 baby squash, about 150 g in total, sliced
1 green zucchini, sliced
1 3⁄4 cups reduced-salt chicken stock
1 3⁄4 cups reduced-salt vegetable stock
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
  1. Peel, seed and chop the Italian tomatoes.
  2. Grease a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, carrot, celery and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, yellow zucchini or squash, and the green zucchini. Sauté the vegetables until they are soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the flavours have blended, about 20 minutes.
  3. Place the basil and pesto in a food processor and pulse until the basil is chopped. Process until the pesto is thick and creamy.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the pesto and serve.
  5. Hearty vegetable pesto soup variations: For vegetarian vegetable soup, substitute another 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock for the chicken stock. You can also vary the vegetables. Always start with sautéed onion, carrot, celery and garlic. In spring, add a handful of fresh green peas during the last 10 minutes. In the winter, add a variety of cooked kale, collard greens, cubed squashes and roots cooked the last 10 minutes.