Many of us look for ways to include more vegetables in our diet. One way is soup. Not only wholesome & comforting, soups can be made ahead & frozen to have on stand-by for busy nights, a late night snack or lunch. White Bean & Veggie Soup with Pesto is quick, easy to make & nutritious.
A good soup starts with a good base in the form of a broth/stock. I always use homemade. A good, made-from-scratch broth is easy to make & requires little effort from you apart from roughly chopping a few veg. For my broth, it’s the slow cooker for simplicity & convenience. Turn it on of a night before bed then wake in the morning to find it’s done. Get my recipe for a good chicken broth here. If you want to keep the broth strictly vegetarian then omit the chicken & do one & half times the veg. Easy.
Let’s be honest: the pesto is really what makes this soup. A veggie soup with creamy cannellini beans is nutritious comfort food but add a generous dollop of pesto & now you’ve got a rustic meal loaded with goodness with big flavors. I’ve included the recipe for pesto in this post but read more about how to make your pesto perfect in a previous post here.
For a cozy night in, grab some trays, make some hot buttered toast & get comfy on the couch with the tray precariously balanced on your lap as you slurp away & binge watch one of your favorite Netflix series (for me it’s Midsomer Murders). This time of year it’s so easy to use the festive season as an excuse to not eat well, don’t be that person. I’m trying not to be. Throw together meals such as this certainly help me stay (mostly) on track. Chat to you soon, toodles.
White Bean & Veggie Soup with Pesto
- 1 large leek or 2 small leeks
- 6 cups good chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 2 cups thinly sliced celery
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- a generous pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 15.5 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained (white kidney beans)
- 2/3 cup pesto (your own or store-bought)
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- pinch of salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil (approximately)
To make the pesto:
- Put basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, salt & pepper into a food processor bowl & process until finely chopped. Scrape mixture into a small bowl. Stir in the olive oil a tablespoon at a time until the oil is combined – about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of oil. Makes about 2/3 cup.
- Trim & discard root end & the tough green tops from the leek. Slice leek & place in a fine metal strainer. Rinse under cold water to remove any dirt; drain.
- Heat broth in a large saucepan. Add leek, carrot, celery, salt & pepper. Cook, covered, on medium heat for about 20 – 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Add peas & beans & cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Ladle soup into heated bowls. Add a spoonful or two of pesto. Serve immediately with buttered toast.