Green minestrone with pesto

Fresh, filling and packed with spring flavours this green minestrone makes a delicious lunch or light dinner.

  • 35 mins preparation
  • Serves 4
  • Print


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 medium leek (350g), white part only, chopped finely (see tip)
  • 1 medium parsnip (250g), cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 trimmed celery stalks (200g), sliced thinly
  • 150 g curly kale, stems discarded, torn in pieces
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
  • 150 g green beans, trimmed, cut into 1cm lengths
  • 2 medium zucchini (240g), halved, sliced thinly
  • 400 g can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup (25g) grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup (40g) pine nuts, toasted
  • ½ clove garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil


  • 1
    Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.Cook sage, garlic and leek, stirring, for 3 minutes or until leek is soft. Add parsnip, celery and kale; cook, stirring, for a further 2 minutes or until kale is bright green. Add stock; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; cook for 15 minutes or until parsnip is almost tender.
  • 2
    Add green beans, zucchini and cannellini beans; cook for a further 5 minutes or until zucchini is just tender. Season.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, make pesto.
  • 4
    Serve soup topped with pesto.
  • 5
    Blend or process ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl; season to taste.


Cut the leek in half lengthways and rinse carefully between the layers; they can be quite gritty. Soup can be made a day ahead. Pesto can be made 3 days ahead. Store in separate airtight containers in the fridge; cover pesto with a thin layer of oil. Soup and pesto can be frozen in separate airtight containers for up to 3 months. Serve minestrone with crusty bread, basil leaves and extra grated parmesan, if you like.

More From Women's Weekly Food