Minestrone with ricotta & walnut pesto

Everyone loves minestrone soup, especially in the colder months. This one has over ten vegetables and is finished with some pasta. The walnut and ricotta pesto adds a great twist.

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  • ⅓ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 desiree potatoes, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2.5L (10 cups) chicken stock
  • 100g green beans, roughly chopped
  • 400g can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2 zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 3 silverbeet stalks, stems and leaves separated, roughly chopped
  • 150g macaroni
  • 100g frozen peas, thawed
  • Toasted ciabatta slices, to serve


Ricotta pesto (makes 1 cup)

  • 50g basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, bruised
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g ricotta
  • ⅓ cup finely grated pecorino or parmesan


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion, celery and parsley for 8 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Add the potato, tomato and stock, and bring to the boil. Add green beans, cannellini beans, zucchini and silverbeet stems, then cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the silverbeet leaves and cook for a further 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season.

Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, according to packet instructions or until almost al dente, then drain.

Add macaroni to the soup with the peas and heat until warmed through, then remove from heat.

For the pesto, place the basil, garlic, walnuts and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Add ricotta and pecorino, season and whiz to combine. Serve minestrone topped with pesto and toasted ciabatta on the side.

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