the saturday soup – (almost) spring vegetable with pesto February 26, 2011

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

  • 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil or other oil of choice for sauteing
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 leek, white parts only, cut and thoroughly washed
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 5 cups vegetable stock or 3 cups stock/2 cups water
  • 1 pinch dried red chili flakes
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh green beans – tough ends removed and rough chopped into pieces
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini/white beans, rinsed and drained
  • fresh ground pepper & salt, to taste
  • 1 heaping tsp. per bowl of prepared basil pesto or pesto of your choice

– 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.



Cookin' Canuck Feb 26, 2011 11:02 am

This makes me yearn for spring. The pesto is the perfect addition for a huge dose of flavor. I hope your life becomes less stressful and that your decisions all work out for the best.

Georgie Feb 26, 2011 11:02 am

What a beautiful recipe, looks so good.

Melanie Feb 26, 2011 12:02 pm

This looks amazing. So healthy and fresh! And pesto – mmm. Can’t wait to try it.

Susie Bee on Maui (Little, Eat Big) Feb 26, 2011 02:02 pm

Hope things settle down for you! Great inspirational recipe-would be very versatile.

Hope things settle down for you! An inspirational recipe-would be very versatile.

Mary in WV Feb 26, 2011 05:02 pm

Yummy! I so look forward to your Saturday soups! Love from WV!

Ayesha Jameel Feb 26, 2011 09:02 pm

Your dishes look yum … loved the presentation of the food ! good work
you can view some of my dishes on ! i would be really happy if you follow it :)

Kimberley Feb 27, 2011 01:02 pm

I am itching for spring vegetables – so close!

SMITH BITES Feb 27, 2011 10:02 pm

my kind of soup – so good this time of year!

Alissa @ Not Just Apples Feb 28, 2011 07:02 am

That looks so hearty and warming! Just my sort of soup.

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen Feb 28, 2011 09:02 am

Best of luck dear Tami. I know how it feels, almost going through similar phase so all thumbs for you. Soup for me personally is always what I have in fridge than a precise recipe, but its the seasoning or that one element like your pesto here which makes THE SOUP.

P.S.- I was planning to write you a mail but I figure I should do it after a while. Take care.

marla Feb 28, 2011 05:02 pm

Tami, glad to hear you got through that tough shoot. Love putting pesto in soup – adds a whole other dimension & healthy fats too.

Tori Feb 28, 2011 08:02 pm

This Soup is very timely! A warm comfort for this chilly weather but with that touch of Spring I am so hoping for, yum!

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The Teacher Cooks Mar 2, 2011 08:03 am

What a great idea using pesto sauce! Photo is gorgoeous as usual.

joey Mar 2, 2011 09:03 am

This looks gorgeous…and delicious! Good luck with whatever is going on and I am sure you will come out on top!

Ivy @ My Simple Food Mar 2, 2011 12:03 pm

First time here. This dish looks lovely and comforting. Hope all is well with you.

diane Mar 3, 2011 10:03 am

I think this is brilliant, adding a heaping tsp of pesto. What a terrific layer of flavor this brings to an elegant, humble bowl.

knitstamatic Mar 6, 2011 05:03 pm

The soup looks delicious. Beautiful bright, colorful spring vegetables and the pesto is a wonderful addition.

[…] Spring Vegetable with Pesto Soup Running with Tweezers […]

Joguinhos Mar 24, 2012 10:03 pm

I am itching for spring vegetables – so close!

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