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Endless Summer Minestrone

Endless Summer Minestrone


  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 cup orzo

  • 2 small or 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1/3 pound green beans, cut into thirds (a generous handful)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)

  • 4 scallions, chopped

  • 1 cup basil leaves

  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls)

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves

  • 1/4 cup tarragon leaves

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

  • 1 clove garlic, halved

  • 2 teaspoons grated peel and juice of 1 lemon

  • Crusty bread, for passing at the table


In a deep skillet or soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and toast for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and green beans; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are softened, 8-10 minutes. Add the wine and boil for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the scallions and cook until the orzo is al dente, about 3 minutes.

While the soup is working, in a food processor, puree the basil, cheese, parsley, tarragon, pine nuts, garlic, lemon peel and lemon juice. Scrape down the sides and then, with the processor on, pour in the remaining 1/3 cup EVOO. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a small bowl.

Divide the soup among four bowls and stir in some pesto. Serve with the bread.