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Vegetable soup with fragrant pesto recipe

Vegetable soup with fragrant pesto recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Vegetable soup
  • Squash soup
  • Butternut squash soup

This soup is based on pistou, the classic French soup from Provence. French bread is the traditional accompaniment, plus a glass of wine.

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IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 large courgette, diced
  • 150 g (5 1/2 oz) French beans, cut into short lengths
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.3 litres (2 1/4 pints) vegetable stock
  • 250 g (9 oz) tomatoes, chopped
  • 85 g (3 oz) vermicelli, broken into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp pesto sauce
  • pepper
  • To serve (optional)
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the leek, courgette, beans and garlic and fry over a moderately high heat for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and beginning to turn brown.
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock. Stir in the tomatoes and add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, but still holding their shape.
  3. Stir in the vermicelli. Cover the pan again and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and add 1 1/2 tsp pesto to each. Stir, then serve, offering the Parmesan cheese separately to stir into the soup.

Some more ideas

For a more substantial soup, or to increase the protein content for a vegetarian meal, stir in 1 can cannellini or flageolet beans, about 400 g, well drained. Add an extra 150 ml (5 fl oz) stock and increase the pesto in each serving to 2 tsp. * When fresh tomatoes are not available, use 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g, well drained, instead. * Use quick-cook macaroni instead of vermicelli.

Plus points

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a carotenoid compound that acts as an antioxidant. Recent studies suggest that lycopene may help to protect against bladder and pancreatic cancers. * All cheeses are a good source of calcium, and they contain vitamins A and D. Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so the more fat in the cheese, the more vitamin D it provides. Parmesan is a high-fat cheese, so adding the optional spoonful to your bowl of soup will increase the fat content, but will also increase the calcium and vitamins.

Each serving provides

B1, B6, E, niacin * calcium * C, folate, iron

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Spring Asparagus, Pea, Zucchini Soup with Pesto

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Spring, is coming! And, it’s time for another challenge from The Recipe Redux team, one of my families favorite recipes for springtime celebrations.

This is a beautiful soup. It fuses the fresh flavors of the springtime vegetables with herbs and is then blended into a smooth, light and delicious soup. It’s even great served cold! It’s easy enough to make on a weeknight, but also great to serve to company

While staying conscious of the fat content, I added a can of light coconut milk for a little more creaminess.

One can of light coconut milk to 4 cups of broth keeps the fat level quite lower while still offering us that lightness and creaminess that fuse all the flavors and texture together. You can skip the coconut milk and add 1 tsp coconut extract plus non-dairy milk if you prefer.

To top off the soup, I made a beautiful dairy-free pesto. If you are pressed for time, feel free to add in the juice of one lemon to the soup, throw in some parsley and basil and garlic to the soup and blend it all together for a quicker one step version.

Be sure to have a look at these plant-based soup recipes:

What makes it so easy to prepare is that you put all of the ingredients into one pot. After sauteeing the onion and garlic in water or broth, you’ll add the asparagus, peas, and zucchini along with the vegetable broth and coconut milk (or non-dairy milk). Then just simmer until tender.

The pesto takes a little extra work. Put all of the pesto ingredients, no oil needed, are put into a food processor and processed with a little water to get to the consistency you like.

A couple of asparagus tops, the pesto and a sprinkling of pine nuts are a beautiful garnish for the top of the soup. Enjoy with some crusty bread for a complete meal.

I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Asparagus, Pea, Zucchini Soup! If you have a photo, post it on my Instagram page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!

This recipe is Certified Plantricious
because it meets the following guidelines.

Provencal Vegetable Soup With Pistou

1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves, no stems

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup coarsely chopped plum tomato

½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 cups carrots, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick

2 cups leeks, sliced ½ inch thick, white and light green parts only

2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick

1 cup celery ribs, sliced ½ inch thick

1 cup sweet onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

4 fresh thyme sprigs, tied with twine

Rind of a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)

1 teaspoon each fine sea salt and ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 cup cored and seeded plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

8 cups vegetable or chicken stock (two 32-ounce cartons)

How to make the best Minestrone Soup:

  • Sauté veggies. In a medium to large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add all the veggies (except the spinach) to the pot – the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, cabbage mix, sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, and zucchini. Add seasonings – salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and onion powder – and stir. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until veggies become fragrant and start to soften.
  • Add broth ingredients. Then add the diced tomatoes, tomato pasta, chicken broth, white beans, parmesan rind, and bay leaves. Bring to a bubbling simmer, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. You may want to add additional salt and pepper here as well.
  • Add pesto and pasta. When potatoes are just tender, add the pesto sauce and the pasta, and continue to cook until the pasta is al dente.
  • Remove from heat. Remove the pot from heat, and remove the parmesan rind and the bay leaves. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  • Serve. To serve, add some freshly grated parmesan cheese to individual bowls of soup, along with a dollop of pesto sauce (if desired). Enjoy with some crusty bread!

What is a parmesan rind?

A parmesan rind is the rind (the end part) of some authentic parmesan cheese. These have tons of parmesan flavor, but are hard to actually eat because they are hard. So think twice next time you go to toss one in the trash. Save it! Use it in all your Italian soup recipes!

❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

Beet stems are edible and can be eaten. In fact, they’re delicious in sauces like pestos or chimichurris, in soups or to season vegetable broths, and even sautéed as a side dish. They can be treated similar to Swiss chard, but with an earthy, slightly bitter taste.

Beet leaves are a healthy leafy green that can be added to soups, salads, smoothies, and sauces. They are high in iron, vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and fiber (USDA Food Nutrient Database).

Beet skins are safe to eat and do not need to be peeled before cooking. However, if you want to peel your beets, it's best to cook them first. Once tender, their skins rub off easily.

If you’ve already cut the beet leaves from the stems, stick the stem directly into a glass of water to keep them hydrated. If the greens are still attached to the stems and beetroot, stick the actual beet into water and it will absorb and keep the greens fresh.

Beet tops and beet stems are great for flavoring soup stocks. Simply place them in a pot with other scrap vegetables, fill with water, season with salt and herbs, and simmer for one hour. Check out our Beet Top Vegetable Broth for the full recipe.

Wonderful Homemade Vegetable Soup

A basic soup made with any fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand. Vegan and gluten-free.


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Brown Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tomato, Sliced Into Small Cubes
  • 3 Celery Stalks, Sliced
  • 2 Large Carrots, Peeled And Chopped Small
  • 1-½ cup Green Beans Sliced Into 1 Inch Pieces
  • 1-¼ cup Favourite Tasty Tomato Salsa
  • 2 cups Water
  • 400 grams Canned Crushed Tomatoes
  • 4 Large Courgettes (Zucchini), Sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 3 teaspoons Paprika
  • Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste


In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and fry onion until translucent. Add garlic and fry until fragrant. Add fresh tomato, celery, carrots and green beans and stir fry for about 1 minute.

Pour in salsa, canned crushed tomatoes, and water. Turn heat down to medium and allow soup to simmer away for about 20 minutes, or until veggies are almost tender. At this stage, add the courgettes to the soup and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until courgettes are cooked.

Stir in turmeric, paprika, sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste. Serve!

Get the warm, soothing flavors of butternut squash you crave – in this sweet pureed soup.

You’ve never really experienced tomato soup until you’ve had it in a roasted squash half.


This vegan vegetable soup is perfect as it is but if you want to switch things up a bit and add even more flavour here are some ideas:

Make it tomatoey - Although this is a vegetable soup without tomatoes, feel free to add some if you want to. Fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes or some tomato paste will all work well.

Extra veggies that work well - Use whatever veggies are in season or whatever you have in the fridge that needs using up. Zucchini, peas, bell peppers, corn, sweet potatoes, squash, asparagus, greens like kale, chard, cabbage or spinach are all great in it. Just about anything goes really. Add quick-cooking vegetables at the end and denser, harder ones at the beginning. Canned vegetables and frozen vegetables can also be added but do it right at the end of the cooking time so they don't get overcooked.

Extra protein - Of course veggies have their own protein, but you can also give it a boost with canned beans, chickpeas, lentils (if using up to about ¾ cup they can go in dry but you might need to add a little more stock), vegan chick'n, vegan "beef", tofu or tempeh. I've eaten it with some diced up baked tofu that needed using up.

To make it fancier - Try adding a cup of white wine in place of some of the stock (add it just after sauteing the onions, carrots and celery)and fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme or a bouquet garni while it's simmering.

To make it creamier - Blend it up a bit more with an immersion blender, or transfer some to a blender, blend then add it back. Or switch up to half of the stock for unsweetened unflavored plant milk, such as cashew milk, soy milk or light canned coconut milk. Cashew cream adds a nice richness too.

To make it heartier - Add a handful or 2 of some grains like sorghum, freekeh, barley, wild rice or farro. They will also give the soup great texture. You can also throw in some dried pasta or broken-up spaghetti about 10 minutes before you want to serve.

To make it spicy - Add spices like red pepper flakes, curry paste, harissa, fresh chilli, paprika, cayenne pepper, curry powder, chilli powder or taco seasoning while sauteing the veggies.

Make it Italian-style – Add a can of diced tomatoes (or some chopped fresh tomatoes) and some broken spaghetti or pasta 10 minutes before the cooking time is up. Once the pasta is tender stir through some fresh basil right before serving. Maybe a dollop of vegan ricotta too?

Make it Mexican-Style – Add a can of diced tomatoes, some chopped fresh chilli or a can of green chilli, some taco seasoning, a can of black beans or pinto beans and maybe some canned, fresh or frozen sweetcorn? Then serve with tortilla chips.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ pound green beans, halved
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup pesto

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until slightly darkened, 1 minute.

Add the vegetable broth, green beans, chickpeas, and frozen peas. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with the pesto.



OK - I loosely made this. Way more veggies, chicken sausage, didn't have fresh basil, forgot about the lemon, etc. However, it was delicious.

Loved it and served with cheesy naan crisps as a side to dip

I couldn't find tortellini in South Africa, but Woolies had miniature ravioli in their fresh pasta section so I used those instead. I like this recipe for lunches, but it's not one of my favorites from CookSmarts. It might just be because I made the orange salmon and the general Tso's this week and those two recipes were amazing!

Watch the video: Basilikum-Pesto. Pesto selber machen (December 2021).