A gentle simmer keeps the vegetables in the soup slightly firm, so they maintain their texture during freezing and reheating.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced leek, white and light green parts only (about 2 leeks)
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2 cups chopped yellow squash
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 ounces Lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup homemade or refrigerated pesto (such as Buitoni)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
How to Make It
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add leek, carrot, celery, and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (do not brown). Add tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add stock and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes.
Place 1 cup cannellini beans in a small bowl; mash with a fork. Add mashed beans, remaining cannellini beans, squashes, bell pepper, green beans, pasta, salt, and black pepper to pan. Increase heat to medium; cook 10 minutes. Stir in kale; cook 2 minutes. Place 2 cups soup in each of 8 bowls, or follow freezing instructions. Top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons pesto and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.
FREEZE: Cool soup completely. Freeze flat in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag for up to 2 months.
THAW: Microwave soup in bag at MEDIUM (50% power) 5 minutes or until pliable.
REHEAT: Pour soup into a large Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, partially covered, 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with pesto and Parmesan cheese.
Really good. I substituted broccoli rabe instead of kale because that's what I had in frig and made it vegetarian with vegetarian broth instead of chicken and it was really good. Husband had two bowls so that's how I know I will make again.
The soup is flavorful and rich, even though the soup itself is wonderfully healthy. We skipped the pesto and parmesan, despite having them on hand, because the soup didn't need them! My two-year-old enjoyed it, too. When I make this again, I'll dice the leeks up rather than leaving them sliced. I also used a 5 oz. package of baby kale since Lacinto is hard to get here this time of year.
This is a great recipe. Good way to get your veggies in! My only complaint is that it wasn't very broth-y. Next time I will add another 8 oz. or so. Also, the soup itself is rather bland - the pesto adds all the spice. So if you are going to skip the pesto, definitely add herbs and spices to the soup itself while cooking. Basil and oregano would be good. I also added some crushed red pepper for some heat.
I made this soup last night, even though we're in the midst of daily mid-90s temperatures. I like soup any time of year, though. This was a very good summer soup, packed with veggies. I'd never bought or used kale before, so that added to my food repertoire. I'll definitely make this soup again, but make a few changes: more pasta and cannelloni beans (thus more stock/broth), and because it makes so much, I'll probably cut the recipe in half, since it's just me and this makes a LOT of soup.
Fresh ingredients, fresh recipe! I made this night before we ate it and forgot to top with pesto. Did not need it, such great flavor from all of the veggies. My husband normally would complain about no meat, but he RAVED about this soup. I had great northern beans on hand so that is what I used and the only other sub was Better than bouillon for the stock.This will def stay in rotationThank you!
I had a lot of fun buying very fresh veggies from a local farmer's market. The prep takes awhile, but the end result was a delicious soup that is very nutritious. I wasn't able to find ditalini pasta, so used Barilla Mini Penne #366. I like extra pasta in my minestrone, so added an extra 8 cups of vegetable broth and an extra 1/2 cup of the penne. I also added one can of garbanzo beans.
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