Vegetable Soup with Pesto

Active Time: 1 HR 30 MINTotal Time1 HR 30 MIN
Yield: Serves : 8

A rich and earthy vegetable soup, filled with fresh springtime produce gets a hit of creaminess and fresh flavor from hand-pounded pesto from a mortar and pestle. Chef Ludo Lefebvre layers in squash, fresh and dried beans, potatoes, and elbow macaroni for a satisfying vegetarian soup.



  • 1/2 cup small red beans
  • 1/2 cup navy beans
  • 6 new fingerling potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 zucchini, large dice
  • 1 globe squash, large dice
  • 4 ounces fava beans
  • 4 ounces English peas
  • 4 ounces green beans, large dice
  • 4 ounces yellow wax beans, large dice
  • 2 leek scapes, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow pasta
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Cherry and grape tomatoes, for garnish
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved


  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

How to Make It

Step 1    

Soak the red and navy beans overnight.Drain and rinsed the soaked beans and transfer to a large pot, covering the beans with fresh cold water, about 10 cups. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, globe squash, fava beans, peas, green beans, yellow wax beans, and leek scapes and cook for another 10 minutes. Add additional cool water to cover the vegetables as needed and continue cooking until beans are soft and cooked through, about 20 more minutes. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 2    

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Mash the garlic cloves, pine nuts, and basil in a mortar with a pestle until a paste forms.Add the parmesan and mash. Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil and add kosher salt to taste. Set aside.

Step 3    

Ladle soup into individual serving bowls and stir in pesto to taste. Garnish with tomatoes and shaved parmesan.

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