Now I’ll admit, I could eat basil pesto on anything, but a dollop on fresh veggie soup is just heaven to me. The light, fresh energy of the herb is a perfect complement to any hearty bean and veggie soup, preventing it from becoming heavy, sinking in the body.
Makes 3-4 servings
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons white miso
4 to 5 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Suzanne’s Specialties brown rice syrup
1 small red onion, diced
½ small leek, split lengthwise, rinsed well diced
3-4 fingerling potatoes, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 yellow summer squash, diced
1 cup cooked cannellini or other white beans
5 cups spring or filtered water
1 bay leaf
2 ½ teaspoons white miso
1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal into ½ inch pieces
Prepare the pesto: Blanch basil in boiling water for 30 seconds and dry by wrapping in a kitchen towel. This will help pesto hold its green color. Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade pulse to create a coarse paste. Set aside.
Prepare the soup: Layer onion, leek, potatoes, carrots and squash in a soup pot in the order listed. Top with beans; add water and bay leaf. Cover; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low simmer until vegetables are quite soft, about 20-25 minutes.
Put soup, in batches, through a food mill or puree in a food processor to create a smooth texture. Return soup to pot over medium heat. Remove a small amount of liquid and use to dissolve miso. Stir miso mixture and green beans into soup and simmer for 3-4 minutes, taking care not to boil, as it will destroy enzymes in miso that aid digestion. Serve soup with a dollop of pesto in each bowl.