winter minestrone


note: This recipe is part of a collaborative meal plan with Stevie of @stevieyaaaay.  Find her blog HERE.

I find there's nothing better than a big, cozy, warming pot of soup bubbling away on the stove- especially in winter.  I make endless variations of this soup depending on what's in season, and what's in my fridge that needs to be used.  Feel free to adapt as you wish- squash works great instead of the potatoes, or a small pasta (cook separately).  The pesto is optional, but honestly it is so worth it.  You can chop it all finely with a knife and mix by hand if you don't have a food processor.

for the soup:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 small leek, sliced into half moons (white + light green only)
2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
1 can of tomatoes
4 cups broth
1 can/1.5 cups cannellini beans
1 bunch greens, washed and chopped

for the pesto:

1 bunch parsley
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
small lemon, zested + juiced

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot.  Add the onion and sauté 5-7 minutes, or until onion is softened and starting to brown.  Add the celery, carrot, and leek and a big pinch kosher salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes, tomatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pesto.  In a food processor, place all ingredients + a big pinch kosher salt and pulse until a paste forms.  Taste and add more lemon, salt, or olive oil as needed.  Set aside.

Add the beans and greens and cook until greens are softened and beans are heated through, 5 minutes or less.

To serve, ladle into bowls and pass pesto alongside for everyone to dollop and swirl through their bowls.