Chickpea Minestrone with Arugula Pesto

By • September 16, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: My favorite meals often take shape simply, maybe with one or two key ingredients, like fresh spring peas and imperfectly shaped purple potatoes. Add an old standby, the chickpea, and some slow roasted onions, and you've got yourself the bulk of a hearty minestrone. This soup is even more interesting when paired with a slice of thick, crusty bread with a dollop of arugula pesto spread across it. If you're feeling adventurous, try throwing the arugula toast under the broiler for a few minutes, then setting it right on top of your soup bowl. There's something about the way the spicy green spread melts into the minestrone broth; it's the perfect comfort on a slightly chilly day.

(This recipe was adapted from What's Cooking Good Looking's Spring Minestrone with Wild Ramp Pesto: http://www.whatscookinggoodlooking.com/whats-cooking-good-looking/2014/4/17/spring-vegetable-minestrone-wild-ramp-pesto.)
Alexa Arnold

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Serves 4

For the minestrone:

  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
  • 1 cup chick peas
  • 4 small baby bok choy (or substitute any of your favorite greens)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the pesto:

  • 4 cups loose arugula leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large soup pot, roast the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent and soft.
  2. Add the potatoes, crushed red pepper, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the chick peas and water, bring to a boil for a few minutes, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 90 minutes on low heat.
  4. While the soup is cooking, prepare the pesto. Combine all ingredients into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add a little extra olive oil if you need.
  5. When the soup has almost finished cooking, taste, and if it's a little too watery, keep simmering for another 20 minutes or until you've reached your desired flavor. Add the baby bok choy and cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with a side of pesto toast.

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