Even though it’s still well into the 90s in Austin, I like to think that we are nearing the start of the Soup and Stew Season. Soup was on my mind while perusing the produce department yesterday and I settled on a variation of minestrone that incorporates some of my recent favorite ingredients — pesto, jalapeno and kale.
The jalapeno and the kale proved to be nice sidekicks and the pesto took center stage — a minestrone game changer. As a vegetarian soup, the pesto lends that extra dimension and, in my humble opinion, adds a depth that is far superior to anything that sausage or a soup bone has to offer.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- 2 stalks of celery
- 3 carrots
- 2 potatoes
- 1 jalapeno, diced very fine
- 3 medium zucchini
- 4 large kale leaves chopped
- Handful of fresh parsley
- 1 large can (28 oz.) of diced tomatoes
- 1 can (14 oz.) of garbanzo beans
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 quart of vegetable stock or water
- 1/3 cup pesto
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a heavy sauce pan and add diced onion followed by peeled and diced carrots, celery, potatoes, jalapeno and zucchini. Cover and cook on medium heat for an additional 5 minutes.
- Chop kale and parsley. Add tomatoes, beans, salt, pepper, 2 Tbsp. of pesto and stock or water.
- Cover and simmer on medium to low heat for 25 minutes.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve with a dollop of pesto.