Thank goodness for this weekly soup post ritual I have going now. Seriously. If it wasn’t for the Saturday Soup, I may not have made it back here to this space this week. For a good part of a week, the thing I’ve been eating most are my fingernails. Major & stressful life decisions going on right now. An insanely wacky and complicated photo shoot that had me fretting all the way up to when the first hero dish went in front of the camera. It’s been a long week but I’ve missed blogging and I’ve missed cooking. I dare say that all seems to be going according to plan – fingers crossed (with what’s left of my nails) – and the shoot really went quite smoothly.
Before things got hectic this past weekend, I loaded up on some vegetables that were looking good at the market: really perky green beans, some great zucchini. Even a package of lovely red and yellow cherry tomatoes and the first English peas of the season. I had the best of intentions – some sort of crunchy salad – but time got away from me. In an effort to keep those vegetables from getting away from me too, I threw them in a soup with some leftover cannellini beans. Some vegetable stock. Nothing fancy. The kicker here is the pesto. Use your favorite recipe and make some from scratch…or plop a dollop of prepared stuff on this soup while it’s hot. The seasoning in the soup is minimal so you can let the pesto do the work for you. Also, use the vegetables listed as a guide. If you want to make this exactly, it’s delicious. However, if you have stuff on hand that needs to be used up, throw it in – or add a handful of frozen peas if you’d like. I prefer my veg to be a little al dente but by all means, cook them till your heart is content.
Almost Spring Vegetable Soup with Pesto – serves 4 as a soup course or light meal
– In a medium sized soup or stock pot with a lid, heat up the oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the leeks and celery and saute for 4 to 5 minutes more until they start to soften. Add in the chili flakes and the vegetable stock (or stock/water mix), cover and turn down heat to a low simmer. Cook the broth all together for another 5 minutes or so. Add the zucchini, green beans, tomatoes and white beans. Salt and pepper to taste and simmer (covered) for 10-12 minutes until the veggies are cooked but not mushy. If you like your vegetables less crunchy, simmer for a longer length of time. Ladle into serving bowls and top each bowl with a teaspoon of pesto. Serve immediately.