Classic Minestrone Soup Con Pesto Alla Genovese

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Serves: 10

This vegetable-rich soup is healthy and delicious. It’s the perfect comfort food for chilly days in early fall. A dollop of homemade pesto brings all the flavours together beautifully.


1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
2 leek(s), light green and white part, sliced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (250 mL) baby carrots
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 bay leaves
8 cups (2 L) low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups (750 mL) chicken, cooked, diced
1 can canned diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 cup (250 mL) low-sodium canned navy beans, well rinsed
2 cups (500 mL) eggplant, diced
1 cup (250 mL) green cabbage, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) Savoy cabbage, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) thyme, fresh, minced
2 cups (500 mL) whole wheat rotini
1/2 cup (125 mL) parsley, fresh
1/2 cup (125 mL) basil, fresh
1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp (1.25 mL) sea salt


1 To make soup, heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Sauté leeks, 6 cloves of garlic, celery, carrots and bay leaves. Cook for about 10 minutes until vegetables are softened.
2 Add chicken broth, cooked chicken, tomatoes and juice, beans and eggplant. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
3 Add cabbage, thyme and pasta and simmer with lid on for about 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Don’t overcook the pasta.
4 To make pesto, puree parsley, basil, remaining 2 cloves of garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt in food processor or blender.
5 Serve each bowl of soup with a teaspoon of pesto on top.