Monday, August 30, 2010

Late Summer Vegetable Soup with Basil Pesto

late summer vegetable soup with pesto

Do you hear them? I do. It's the collective groan of gardeners across the country desperate to eat, cook, and preserve their stockpiles of late summer vegetables and herbs such as corn, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and basil.

I'm here to help. Toss them all into a big pot for this Late Summer Vegetable Soup with Basil Pesto. You can double it, triple it and even freeze it. What more can you ask for?

See that? It's quieter already.

Late Summer Vegetable Soup with Basil Pesto
Makes 4 servings
Print recipe only here.

If you choose to freeze the soup to enjoy during the winter months, then undercook the vegetables and allow soup to cool completely before pouring into freezer-safe containers.

Basil Pesto:
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 cups firmly packed basil leaves
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 carrots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons, about 11/2- 2 cups
4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 ear sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob (about 1 cup)
2 cups sliced green beans (about 4 ounces)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Shredded parmesan cheese, optional

1. To make basil pesto heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add garlic, and heat through until slightly golden (about 2-3 minutes). Transfer to a food processor.

2. In the same skillet, add pinenuts, and toast 1-2 minutes, until golden; add to food processor. Add basil leaves, cheese, water, salt, and pepper. Pour olive oil though processor chute (or simply add with other ingredients), and process until smooth. Note: If you’re not going to use your pesto immediately, then pour in a small sealable container and cover with a layer of olive oil. This will prevent the pesto from turning brown.

3. Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery  and cook 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add red bell pepper and zucchini, and cook 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add corn and green beans; cook another 3-4 minutes, until string beans are cooked through yet firm. Add cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup pesto; stir well to combine for about 1 minute and remove from heat. Taste. Season with salt and pepper, and add more pesto, if desired. If you prefer it thinner, add a little more broth. Garnish individual servings with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.

You might also enjoy these pesto recipes:
Cilantro Pesto recipe from Whipped
Individual Pesto Lasagnas recipe from Food Blogga
Lemon and Almond Basil Pesto recipe from Cookin' Canuck
Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Tomatoes recipe from Food Blogga
Foil Baked Salmon with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen
Rigatoni with Walnut, Parsley, and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto recipe from Food Blogga