Navy beans, leeks, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini combine for a heart-healthy soup that takes the chill off a cold winter night. The flavorful topping is a basil pistou, a mixture similar to pesto minus the pine nuts.
1/2 cup dried navy beans
6 cups water
1 3/4 cups chopped leek
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot (about 2 medium)
1 cup chopped seeded peeled tomato
3/4 cup peeled diced potato
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
Dash of ground thyme
10 cup water
1 1/2 cups diced zucchini (about 2)
3/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut crosswise in half
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
To prepare soup, sort and wash beans, and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain; return beans to pan. Add 6 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain; return beans to pan.
Add leek and next 9 ingredients (through dash of thyme) to pan, stirring to combine. Add 10 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes or until potato is tender.
Stir in zucchini, macaroni, and green beans; cook 15 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Discard bay leaf.
To prepare pistou, combine basil, cheese, and garlic in a food processor; process until a stiff paste forms. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute; process until well blended. Serve with soup. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.