Loaded with veggie goodness, summer minestrone with pesto is a nutritional bomb that packs a lot of flavour. It's a one-pot minestrone that goes great with a chunk of crispy bread and extra parmesan and pesto on top for a most delicious meal. Expect everyone to ask for seconds!
Minestrone di verdure is a classic Italian dish that's perfect for summer. It's essentially a summer soup with pesto and the best thing about it is that you can use just about any veggies you may have on hand to make it.
Onion, garlic, carrot, and celery are some of the things that shouldn't miss in a good minestrone di verdure, as they form the base of the soup or the soffrito, but everything else is fair game.
I use a mix of courgettes, potatoes and borlotti beans for a creamy texture, but you can also add cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, butternut squash, chard, or aubergines.
If you're looking for summer soup ideas, this minestrone with pesto is really one of the best choices. I make my own pesto for it, and you can find the recipe for it in the recipe card at the end of this post, but you can also use some quality shop-bought pesto instead.
How do you make this summer minestrone with pesto?
If you're making your own pesto, start by adding the basil, garlic, pine nuts, grated parmesan, and olive oil into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make the soup, start by dicing all your veggies. Cut them all in small, approximately equal pieces so they cook uniformly.
Once you have all the veggies ready, heat the olive oil in a large pot (a Dutch oven is excellent here) and make the soffrito by cooking the onion, carrot, and celery for 8-10 minutes until they soften.
Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute until fragrant. Now it's time to add all the other ingredients except for the pasta.
Simmer the soup for about 10 minutes, add the pasta, and cook for another 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
Finish the soup by stirring in the pesto (don't forget to reserve some for serving).
What do you serve with summer minestrone?
This minestrone is great on its own and very filling thanks to the pasta. It also goes great with some croutons or a hunk of fresh crusty bread.
Make it vegan
This summer minestrone soup is super easy to make vegan, as all you have to do is use vegan pesto — the rest is naturally vegan. If you want to make your own vegan pesto, you can follow the same recipe, but use vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast instead of the regular parmesan.
Recipe tips and notes
- Try to cut all the veggies approximately the same size, so they cook uniformly.
- Only use fresh veggies to make this soup; frozen vegetables aren't really the same, and they can ruin the flavour of the soup.
- To get the most out of this minestrone, choose seasonal vegetables. This soup is like a blank canvas, so once you perfect a basic recipe, you can use your imagination to create endless variations.
- Add some extra water if the soup looks too thick as the pasta is cooking. Remember that the pasta will continue to soak up the liquid as the soup sits, so make sure there's enough liquid in the pot.
- You can freeze the soup for up to a month. It's a good idea to freeze it before adding the pasta to prevent it from soaking up most of the liquid. To reheat, defrost the soup overnight in the fridge and then heat it on the stove over low heat.
If you liked this summer minestrone with pesto, you might also like some of my other easy veggie soups:
For the pesto
- ½ bunch fresh basil
- 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 50 g (1.8 oz) pine nuts
- 30 g (1 ounce) grated parmesan
- 50 ml (1.7 fl oz) olive oil
For the minestrone
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large courgette, diced
- 1 large potato, diced
- 1 x 400 g (14 oz) can borlotti beans
- 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
- 100 g (3.5 oz) ditalini pasta
Make the pesto
Add the basil, garlic, pine nuts, grated parmesan and olive oil into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the minestrone
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and fry the onion and garlic over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until translucent.
2. Add the carrot, celery and courgette and cook for 8-10 minutes until they soften. Next, add the potato and borlotti beans and cover everything with the stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the pasta and continue to cook for another 10-12 minutes until the pasta is al dente. You may need to add a bit more stock or water if the soup becomes too thick.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Season to taste and serve with some crusty bread and extra pesto on top if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 556Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 1217mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 8gSugar: 14gProtein: 14g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.