Minestrone Soup with Pesto

My amazing mom has been making this soup for years and it’s one of my all-time favorites. I love the chunkiness of the vegetables and it’s really more of a stew than a soup. I’ve seen people who “hate vegetables” (!?!), ask for seconds of this soup. Seriously, it’s that good!

Minestrone Soup with Pesto

The soup also freezes quite well. It makes 6 good-sized bowls, so I normally freeze half of it for later. It’s one of those things that tastes even better the next day, when all the ingredients have had time to get acquainted with each other, and it’s great to have tucked-away in the freezer for those days when you don’t have much time, but want something warm and comforting to eat.

The fresh pesto really makes this soup special, so you don’t want to skip that step. I posted my vegan pesto sauce recipe a couple days ago, and you can easily make it while the soup is simmering.

Minestrone Soup with Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh (or ¼ tsp dried) thyme
  • ¾ cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 small zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 cup green or yellow beans, chopped in 3
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked or canned beans (I like to mix kidney, garbanzo and/or white beans)
  • salt and pepper
  • pesto sauce, for topping
  1. In large saucepan, heat the stock and water until it reaches a simmering point.
  2. In another saucepan, heat the olive oil. Stir in the onion and leek, and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion has softened.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook over medium hear, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Add the veggies to the stock and stir well. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly, and leave to cook for 10-12 minutes more.
  5. Stir in the peas, if fresh, and the zucchini, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the frozen peas, if using, and the chopped tomatoes. Cover the pan, bring slowly to the boil, then simmer further for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper, as needed, and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Serve in warmed bowls, topped with a dollop of fresh pesto sauce.
Source: Modified from Classic Italian by Valentina Harris

Minestrone Soup with Pesto


  1. Barbara Granata 15 October, 2010
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