Tuesday, March 27

Minestrone with Cheese Tortellini & Pesto

Spring showers have been in full force this month, and as a true California girl I’m not happy about the rain, thunder, and sub-optimal temps. Though on the bright side, I’ve been making some killer soups lately (such as this), and this minestrone is no exception. It’s so hearty and brimming with vegetables and pasta that it’s almost like a stew rather than a soup, which is perfect for a rainy day. There’s a little bacon in it which gives the whole broth a subtly-smoky flavor, and it’s a must to finish it with pesto (I used this recipe) and a dash of good balsamic vinegar. It’s a great one-pot meal and the perfect thing to have for leftovers another day.

Minestrone with Cheese Tortellini & Pesto:
  • Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add in 2 slices of diced bacon* and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until crispy.
  • Add in another 1 tbsp. of oil, 1 diced onion, 1 diced leek, and 2 minced cloves of garlic.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until soft, then add in 1 peeled and diced Russet potato, 3 peeled and diced carrots, and 3 diced stalks of celery.
  • Cook vegetables for a minute, then add in 6 c. vegetable stock and a 28 oz. can of tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the pot.
  • Season soup well with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid.
  • Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add in 3 c. chopped kale and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add in 10 oz. fresh cheese tortellini** and cook for 10 minutes, or until al dente.
  • Check again for seasoning, then divide into bowls.
  • Top each bowl of soup with a scoop of pesto, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves six
*To make a vegetarian version, just omit the bacon.
**Can substitute for frozen, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.