Vegetable bean soup with pesto sauce

This is a delicious soup to serve for lunch or dinner. The secret is in the easy-to-prepare pesto sauce that is added on top. Sprinkle over freshly grated Parmesan cheese and you have a delicious soup, perfect for a rainy day.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, cut into cubes
2 celery stalks, cut into cubes
1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 can of kidney beans, squeezed and washed
1,398 ml (14 ounces) can of diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
2 glasses of water
4 fresh thyme branches
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry curly pasta
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated

For the pesto sauce:

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté onions, garlic, celery, carrots and green beans for about five minutes. Add corn, tomatoes, kidney beans, chicken stock, water, thyme. Add bay leaves and bring to a boil.

Cook for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add pasta and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the garlic, basil, salt, olive oil and pine nuts to the food processor. Process into a smooth mixture and transfer to a small bowl.

When the pasta is cooked, spoon soup into bowls. Add a tablespoon of pesto sauce and serve, transferring the Parmesan cheese.

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