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Appetizers, Mains, Soups, Vegetarian

Summer minestrone with parsley pistou

Summer minestrone with parsley pistou
Los Angeles Times

The big soup -- it's minestrone. That's literally what it means. And it's not just the big soup, but the big summer soup, because of all the fantastic vegetables you can get at the markets or from your own garden ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, 40 minutes | Serves 6 to 8
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bulb fennel, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 6 cloves minced garlic, divided
  • 2 large tomatoes, cored, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 (2-inch) pieces Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon white pepper, divided
  • 2 cups parsley leaves
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 zucchini squash, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup tube pasta (such as tubetti), cooked according to package directions, about 8 minutes and drained

Step 1Heat one-fourth cup of the oil in a large pot over high heat until hot. Add the onion, and reduce the heat to medium. Saut? the onion until it begins to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the fennel and continue to saute until the fennel is tender and just begins to brown around the edges, about 5 more minutes. Stir in 2 cloves of the minced garlic during the last minute of sauteing.

Step 2Add the tomatoes and 6 cups water. Stir in the cheese rinds, 2 teaspoons of the salt and one-fourth teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and then cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Step 3While the soup is cooking, prepare the pistou. Puree the parsley and the remaining minced garlic cloves in a food processor. Add the remaining one-fourth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the remaining olive oil until emulsified. Set aside.

Step 4Add the squash and the beans to the pot, and continue to simmer until the beans are just cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove the Parmesan rinds from the soup, and stir in the cooked pasta. Ladle the soup into large flat bowls. Spoon a dollop of pistou onto each serving. Serve immediately.

Note: From test kitchen director Donna Deane. Save the rinds from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to add to the soup pot. It gives added flavor and substance to this vegetarian soup.


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