Summer Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Summer Vegetable Minestrone

Highlighting the garden’s harvest of green vegetables in a simple yet elegant and refreshing dish, this soup can be made quickly, so you can prepare it and be back outdoors in no time for an alfresco lunch.

¼ cup Bella Cucina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup thinly sliced leeks, well washed and drained
1 cup diced fennel
½ cup diced celery
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
¼ cup white wine
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup fresh peas when in season, or use fresh green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup thinly sliced Swiss chard or celery leaves
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
4-6 tablespoons Bella Cucina Fresh Basil Pesto

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add leeks, fennel, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, being careful not to brown the vegetables.

Add the white wine and cook until almost absorbed. Add the broth and simmer, covered, for 30 to 45 minutes. (Taste the soup at 30 minutes, and let it simmer an additional 10-15 minutes if the delicate vegetable flavor has not developed). Five minutes before serving, add the green beans and the Swiss chard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide soup among four bowls and top each serving with 1 tablespoon of basil pesto.

Serves 4 for a light lunch, with extra pesto on the side

Buon appetito! copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

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