White Bean Soup with Pesto

January 23rd, 2012 1 Comment

 

 

For a few months now I have now been hoarding my summer goodies that were processed and stored in the freezer.  Those tastes-of-sun treats—the green beans and strawberries and pesto—I keep thinking that I need to wait for that special moment to bring them out.  It’s a small freezer and I did no canning, so the bounty is not endless.

But it’s time to stop the saving and begin the archeological dig into the frozen depths to see what I squirreled away!

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Nothing is more cheery than uncovering the vibrant green of a pesto container.  That basil glow…it’s magical, especially this time of year when the sun is scarce and visions of taxes and holiday credit card bills dance in our heads.

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I love winter and I really struggle with summer (yes, I am aware that most people are not in my camp with that topic).  But I have a silver lining for the sweltering days of July when the humidity is so high that my lungs feel like they are filling with water with every inhalation—-and that trade-off is that the basil flourishes.

When I have melted into a pool on the kitchen floor from the summer heat, I am comforted that at least something fabulously flavorful will come of it!

Sometimes you have to Suffer for the Feast.

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The pesto I make for freezing is what I call a Base Pesto—without cheese or nuts.  Then I can utilize it for whatever purpose later on, like adding it to a hearty winter soup for a ray of sunshine in the dark months.

 

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The cooked cannellini beans are soft and creamy.  Navy beans would also work for this—they aren’t as creamy but they hold their shape.

Just to note: Old beans are dry and take FOREVER to cook.  So if your beans have been hibernating in your cupboard for a decade, you might consider retiring them, and trotting out to get some more!

Any pesto will work for this soup.  Enjoy the green!

 

Base Pesto

Puree in a food processor:

2-3 cloves Garlic

2 cups packed Fresh Basil

2/3 cup Olive Oil

Salt to taste

Dash Lemon Juice

Freeze, or use fresh.  Finish by adding parmesan cheese and pine nuts, sunflower seeds or walnuts.

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White Bean Soup with Pesto

Prep Time:  15 minutes to chop veggies, 2 hours to cook beans    Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

 

2 1/2 cups cooked Cannelini Beans

1/2 cup Celery, diced

1 medium Onion, diced (approximately 2/3 cup)

1/2 cup Carrots, diced

1/2 cup Potatoes, diced

1/4 – 1/2 tsp Salt (to taste)

Black Pepper to taste

1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic

1/8 tsp Nutmeg

Dash of Cayenne

4 cups Water, Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock

(Tasty Optional—1 cup Chicken Sausage)

Simmer 30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked but not mushy.

Turn off heat and add:

1 cup Tomatoes, diced (optional)

3-4 Tbsp Base Pesto (or any pesto you can get!)

1/2 tsp Lemon Juice

1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately.

Buon appetito!

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photo by Scott Hervey

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Heather says:

    Dinner tonight!
    Thank you.
    And to Scott for the brilliant photo.
    blessings~

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