Pesto Minestrone

Beans are a magical fruit. They’re high in fiber, high in protein and low in fat. A few days ago we made our own minestrone with blackeyes. Speaking of which, I think it’s lunch time.

Ingredients
1 can (16 oz) dice tomatoes, undrained (or you can use fresh tomatoes)
2 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower (1/2 small head)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
3 cups cooked (1 cup dry makes 3 cups cooked) or 2 cans (15 oz each) kidney beans or blackeyes, drained and rinsed
3 cans (14.5 oz) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni or small pasta shells
For pesto:
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves OR 1 cup flat parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
2 cloves garlic

Directions
In a 5-6 quart saucepan bring to boil 1/2 cup water, tomatoes, cauliflower, onion, and carrots; reduce heat and simmer covered 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add zucchini, beans, broth and pasta. Return to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put all pesto ingredients in food processor or blender and process until finely chopped. Just before serving, remove soup from heat and stir in pesto. Makes 8-10 servings.

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