minestrone con il pesto
September 30, 2013 § 43 Comments
This is a perfect soup for day three of a constant downpour here in Seattle. Years ago I was skimming through a friend’s cookbook and found this recipe. I asked her for a scratch piece of paper and all she could find was a sticky pad. Using a red ink pen, I proceeded to handwrite the recipe in the tiniest penmanship I could in order to fit it on the two sides of the 2×4 sticky paper. Here we are nearly thirteen years later and I finally made the soup!
The flavor base of this soup is exceptional. You first make a buttuto, which is a combination of onion, celery, garlic, carrot and pancetta (or bacon). The name buttuto (italian) means to strike or, in this case, chop. Once you have chopped your buttuto it becomes a soffritto, which simply means to sauté over high heat until lightly colored. Chop and sauté. So simple, flavorful and a beautiful foundation for this comforting soup.
I n g r e d i e n t s
- 4 cups packed basil
- 1 cup parmesan, grated
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- a little salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 plum tomato, seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 ounces pancetta or 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium size yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1/4 head Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly shredded
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 7 whole, peeled canned tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup broken dried spaghetti
- 1 – 15 oz. can cannelini beans
- salt and pepper to taste
M e t h o d
Make the pesto. Place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until fat has rendered, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and onions and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 12–15 minutes. Add zucchini and cabbage. Cover and cook until wilted, 3–5 minutes. Add stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse the cannelini beans. Mash half the beans with a fork and add to the soup along with whole beans—cook until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with pesto dolloped on top.