Simultaneously hearty and healthy, this delicious gluten free minestrone soup features winter vegetables and a perky (optional) parsley pesto.
Winter Minestrone with Parsley Pesto
- 1 cup dried cannellini beans soaked overnight and drained
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 onion plus 1 1⁄2 cups small-diced onion
- 1 celery stalk halved
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary
- 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1-1⁄2 cups cleaned and small-diced leeks
- 1-1⁄2 cups peeled and small-diced celery root
- 1-1⁄2 cups peeled and small-diced carrots
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 bunch kale center ribs removed and leaves roughly chopped
- 1-1⁄2 cups diced cabbage
- 1 2 1⁄2 by 3-inch rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
- 3 cups cooked gluten-free elbow macaroni such as Ancient Harvest quinoa elbows
- 1 recipe Parsley Pesto see below
In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine 6 cups cold water with the beans, 1⁄4 cup of the oil, the onion half, the celery, and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, about 2-1⁄2 hours. When the beans are just about cooked, season with salt to taste. Discard the onion, bay leaf, and celery and set the soup base aside.
In a large heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the remaining 1⁄4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, rosemary, and pepper flakes, stir well, and let cook for 1 minute. Stir in the leeks, celery root, carrots, and diced onion. Let the vegetables sizzle for a moment in the oil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and are slightly translucent, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and juices, the reserved beans and soup base, the kale, cabbage, and cheese rind. Add 8 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 1⁄4 hours, until the flavors have melded and the vegetables are soft.
To serve the soup, place 1⁄3 cup elbow macaroni in each bowl, top with a ladle or two of soup, and garnish with pesto at the table.
- 2 cups packed parsley leaves
- 2⁄3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic peeled and smashed
- 1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Place the parsley, oil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Process until a loose paste forms. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Recipe: Niki Ford
Photographer Alanna Taylor-Tobin