Thursday, September 01, 2005

Vegetable Soup with French Pesto

Source: The Occasional Vegetarian, by Karen Lee

French Pesto:
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup unpeeled carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned and chopped
8 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 cups cooked small white beans, homemade or canned
2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch-long pieces (about 1/2 pound)
2 cups diced zucchini (2 small)

1. To prepare the pesto, combine the garlic, parsley, olive oil, basil, and cheese in a blender or food processor and puree briefly. Set aside.

2. In a large, heavy-bottom pot, heat the olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, and leeks; sauté over low heat until the vegetables are soft but not brown, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the stock and with the pot uncovered, bring to a simmer over high heat. Lower the heat, add the tomatoes, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and saffron and simmer for a few minutes more.

4. Add the white beans and cook for a few minutes, then add the string beans and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and simmer 3 minutes more.

5. Place the pesto in a soup tureen. Add 1 cup of the simmering soup and mix well. Add the remaining soup and stir. Serve immediately. This soup can be refrigerated for 2 days. Reheat gently before serving.

My notes: I already had homemade pesto in the freezer, so I just used that and added a little parsley since my pesto calls for basil only. I used 4 cans of vegetable stock and 1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained. I skipped the zucchini. I would have liked to have used 2 cans of white beans, but I only had 1 on hand and it definitely wasn't enough for my tastes.

DH and youngest son liked the soup very much. Oldest DS is sick, so he was not interested in any dinner at all - poor guy. I liked the soup quite well, but something was off. Perhaps it was just that I imagined the soup a certain way and it came out differently. In any case, I would certainly make a similar soup again, but perhaps not feel limited to the recipe, feeling free to just throw something of my own together.

I talked about this recipe HERE.

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