Fire-Roasted Minestrone with Kale Pesto.
I can’t think of a better way to start the first weekend of the year than minestrone soup.
January is calling for a big warm bowl of minestrone soup with melting parm and a heavy handed drizzle of kale pesto. It told me so!
And soul warming.
It’s good for us!
And the best way to get in veggies!
It’s super satisfying.
Annnnd it tastes like heaven.
Soup is my love language. Whether it’s a bowl on its own, served with a salad, bread or a sandwich, I just adore it. It always fills me up and while I love some of the delicious salads I create to get me out of boring salad jail, warm soup always sounds a little better to me.
Emilia fell in love with this recipe which means it is extra special. She ate this so fast that she was crying for more before I could get the second bowl ready. The veggies are so tender and it’s full of so many different flavors and obviously tastes fantastic. So it’s perfect for little babes!
My usual food goal at the beginning of every year is to make sure we are always eating things that we love! I am always determined to make sure we take the foods we don’t love and find a way to make them taste great. Except for fennel seeds. That will never happen.
This minestrone soup fits the bill in so many ways.
After seeing this recipe, I knew I had to try butter beans in my minestrone. I love the idea of having a big, buttery (pun intended?) bean amidst all the chopped vegetables and smaller bites of pasta. And I love butter beans so much that I knew it would be delish!
I was also super drawn to the basil pistou in that recipe and knew that having some sort of topping on my soup would be a game changer.
The best ever soup with a drizzle on top is Heidi Swanson’s green lentil soup with curried brown butter. To this day, that is one of my favorite comfort food recipes! Ever since discovering it? It’s always on my list of favorite weeknight recipes.
And of course, I have to use my favorite fire-roasted tomatoes to make this minestrone! That’s a given. Totally predictable.
But the best part? It really is the kale pesto on top. I have a kale pesto recipe in Seriously Delish and I tend to utilize it more in the winter months since great herbs aren’t as easily accessible. I still use fresh herbs in this pesto, but the kale also gives it that greens punch, so it’s like we’re adding a big dollop of health right on to our soup.
The kale pesto combined with the handfuls of spinach I tossed into the minestrone?
Um hello. This is my new favorite way to eat vegetables.
I make a full batch of the pesto. This way, I can always freeze leftovers and use it in other recipes during the week too, whether it’s pasta or salads or sandwiches. My favorite use is the drizzle on the soup, however. It will change your soup game! I swear.
My last requirement for minestrone is a bunch of freshly shaved parm grated right on top. Of course, I throw a parmesan rind in when I have one. But having it on top add this delicious sharp flavor that adds so much. It also adds a touch of richness.
Really. Is there anything better than this?!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup diced carrots
- 1/3 cup diced celery (use more if you wish!)
- 1 rind of parmesan cheese (if you have it!)
- 2 14 ounce cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 14 ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 4 to 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup ditalini pasta
- 6 cups fresh baby spinach
- shaved parmesan, for topping
- 2 cups kale leaves, torn from stems
- ½ cup basil leaves, torn
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, torn
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan or romano cheese
- 3 tablespoons pistachios
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1/3 to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Heat a large stock pot over medium-low heat and add the olive oil.
Add in the onions and garlic with the salt and pepper and stir. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add in the carrots and celery, cooking for 5 minutes more.
Add in the parmesan rind, beans, tomatoes, stock, basil and oregano and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add in the ditalini pasta. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through. Toss in the fresh spinach.
Serve the soup with a few drizzles of the kale pesto and freshly shaved parmesan.
Place the kale, herbs, garlic, cheese, pistachios, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until combined and small pieces remain.
Stream in the olive oil with the processor running until the mixture comes together. You can always add in more olive oil if you want the pesto thinner.
I can’t even express my love for this bowl right here.