Minestrone soup with pistou that's so very French

Minestrone soup with pistou, with rustic bread.jpg
 

A very hearty warming French soup, spiked with pistou (French for pesto) for a beautiful intense flavour. Served with rustic bread it makes a perfect dinner. This is an easy one.


Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 leek, white parts only, chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 large zucchini, diced

6 cups cold water

1 large potato, peeled and diced

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup cooked lima beans

1/2 cup cooked pantacce pasta (or another small-cut pasta)

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 rustic bread loaf, to serve

Pistou (French for pesto)

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Preparation

For pistou, place garlic, basil leaves and Parmesan in food processor and pulse. With food processor running, gradually add olive oil until well combined. Set aside.

For soup, in large heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add leeks; cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and zucchini; cook 2 minutes. Add water and potatoes; bring to boil. Add green beans and lima beans; lower to simmer and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Mix in cooked pasta and half of prepared pistou; cook for 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve with remaining pistou.