Minestrone with Pesto

Cook time 1 hour
Servings 4

Ingredients

3 tbs. olive oil
200g pancetta, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
410g can of Ardmona Crushed Tomatoes
1.5L chicken stock and/or water
1 400g can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 nest of vermicelli
4 stalks of silverbeet (or Swiss chard, cavelo nero, English spinach), shredded including stalks

Pesto
½ small clove garlic
2 large handfuls of basil leaves
50g pinenuts, toasted
40g Parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper
120ml extra virgin olive oil

Minestrone with Pesto

Method

Heat oil in a large pot over a medium heat and add the pancetta and onion and cook for 4-5 minute to soften. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf and thyme, turn the heat to low and cook for 10-15 until all the vegetables are soft. Now turn the heat back up to medium and add the crushed tomatoes and cook off for a minute before adding the stock and cannellini beans and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Gently simmer for 35-40 minutes with the lid on.

For the pesto, pound the garlic with a good pinch of salt until a past forms. Now add the basil leaves and bruise and smash. Add the pinenuts and pound until a rough paste forms. Work in the Parmesan before slowly adding in the oil to emulsify.  

To finish the soup add the vermicelli and cook for 2 minutes before adding the silverbeet white stalk followed by their leaves. Once the pasta is al dente serve in shallow bowls with a big dollop of pesto.