Summer Minestrone

Total Time:
40 min
10 min
Inactive Prep:
30 min
6 to 8 servings


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 celery ribs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups young green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups shelled English peas (or substitute frozen)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock, enough to cover
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Basil and Mint Pesto, recipe follows
  • 1 bunch watercress or parsley
  • Basil and Mint Pesto:
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In a large, heavy pot add a 3-count of extra-virgin olive oil. Add garlic, onion, bay leaf, marjoram and basil. Saute gently until fragrant. Add the vegetables and cook a little of the moisture out, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Dump in the chicken stock and heavy cream bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 so the flavours can come together - do not let it boil hard. Remove half of the vegetables from the pot and puree and add back to the pot to thicken. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are just tender. Serve each bowl with a spoonful of basil and mint pesto on top, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with watercress or parsley.

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until just combined and the pesto still has a lot of texture.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes