White Bean-Pesto Soup

A few pantry ingredients, combined with fresh zucchini, tomatoes and basil makes a quick and easy soup with a lot of great flavor. Adding the pesto-style basil and garlic mixture near the end of the cooking time gives the soup a fresh garden taste. Serve with Cheese and Garlic Bread (see below) and a tossed salad for a complete dinner.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 can (15-ounce) white (cannellini) beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano for grating
  • For the pesto:
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

Preparation:
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until pale golden in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and zucchini, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Drain the thin liquid from the beans, but don't rinse off the thick juices that accumulate near the bottom. Stir into the broth and continue cooking, uncovered, while you make the pesto.

Place the basil, olive oil and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the simmering broth, pulse to combine, then add the mixture to the soup. Add the chopped tomato, taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, then ladle into serving bowls and top with grated cheese. Serve with Cheese and Garlic Bread (instructions follow).

Makes 4 servings

  • Cheese and Garlic Bread
  • 1/2 of an 18-inch baguette
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 to 4 slices cheese (asiago, fontina, provolone or mozzarella)

Cut the baguette in half horizontally. In a small bowl, combine the butter and garlic thoroughly. Spread the mixture evenly over each half of baguette. Wrap loosely in aluminum foil and place in a preheated, 350°F oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the bread are golden and crisp. Cut into 4 pieces and serve immediately.


Source: MyGourmetConnection.com
URL: http://www.mygourmetconnection.com/recipes/soups/white-bean-pesto-soup.php