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Minestrone Soup

The Big Book of Vegetarian by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley

  • This Italian-stye soup features vegetables, beans, pasta, and—in a spicy twist—fresh basil pesto. Meredith Lee/For The HSUS

Serves 8


1 cup dried white or red kidney beans, picked over
4 cups water
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
One 16-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice, unsalted, undrained
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 ounces (1 cup) fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni or small pasta shells
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 clove garlic

Put the beans into a 2- to 3-quart saucepan (or the pot you will cook the soup in), and add enough water to cover the beans by about 3 inches. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let the beans soak for 1 to 2 hours. Then drain and rinse the beans.

In a large pot, combine the beans, 4 cups water, and broth. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender (about 55 minutes).

Drain the juice from the canned tomatoes into the pot. Chop the tomatoes and add them to the pot along with the potato, onions, carrots, and green beans. Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, to make the pesto, put the basil, garlic, olive oil, and a teaspoon of water into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add more water, a teaspoon at a time, if needed.

Add the macaroni, zucchini, salt and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Spoon the soup into bowls and swirl a spoonful of the pesto in each bowl.

Tip: Use canned beans instead of dried beans to make the soup faster.

Recipe from The Big Book of Vegetarian by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley.


All figures are per serving (assumes 8 servings).

Calories: 212
Fat: 3 g 
Carbs: 36 g
Fiber: 6 g
Protein: 8 g
Sodium: 234 mg

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