Loaded with flavor and full of veggie goodness this country-style rustic vegetable soup is comfort food any time of year.
A rustic vegetable soup like this one, chunky an full of texture, can easily be tailored to the season and individual tastes. Load it to the brim with white beans, rice, pasta, or lentils or keep it lighter and stick to vegetables only and finished it with chopped greens.
In this recipe I give you my version of a filling soup equally good for lunch or dinner. Serve it with the best garlic bread and a large green salad if you wish. And feel free to leave out or add fillers to make you own perfect soup.
I add a spoonful of fresh pesto upon serving. Here is my version of the classic basil pesto, but without the Parmesan cheese, and here is an oil free (and cheese free) version.
Rustic Vegetable Soup with Pesto
- A large pot with fitting lid
- Cotton kitchen string (optional but useful)
For the soup base:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into ½-inch slices Half the slices if the rounds are very large
- 3-4 celery stalks, sliced
- 3-4 medium sized potatoes, chopped into bite sized chunks
- 1-2 thick slices celeriac (celery root) peeled and diced
- 1 large leek, white and green parts separated with white part sliced and green tops thinly sliced Set aside the green tops and use to sprinkle on top at the end.
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press or finely chopped
- 2½ liters vegetable broth of stock
- 1 can (400 grams) canned tomatoes Cut them up a bit if using whole canned tomatoes
- 6 dried bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- A good handful fresh thyme sprigs or 1-2 teaspoons dried
- A good handful fresh parsley sprigs
- 1-2 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste) Amount depends on how salty your vegetable broth is.
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- Whole wheat pasta of your choice, cooked al dente Smaller type is best.
- Pesto to serve
- The reserved leek tops to serve
- In a large pot with a fitting lid heat the olive oil over medium high heat and sauté all the prepared vegetables and the garlic for a few minutes until they start to brown a bit.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, and the dried oregano and bay leaves.
- Tie the fresh thyme and parsley together in a bundle using a little kitchen string (cotton) and add it to the soup. This will make it easier to fish out those herbs before serving.
- Season to taste wit salt and pepper and leave the soup to simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.
- Add the beans and peas and let the soup come to a simmer again.
- Just before serving throw in the cooked pasta and stir to mix it in.
- Adjust the seasoning and serve the soup with a dollop of pesto and a sprinkling of leek tops added to each bowl.