Chicken Minestrone with Basil Pesto Recipe

Here’s a straightforward rooster minestrone with basil pesto! It’s simple to adapt with no matter beans, pasta, and contemporary greens you might have within the pantry. Feeds a crowd and freezes nicely.


Photography Credit:
Sally Vargas

You don’t really want a recipe for minestrone, so consider this recipe as extra of a suggestion.

The key elements to this ubiquitous Italian soup are beans, pasta, and tomatoes. Beyond that, you may add no matter greens are in season, leftover rooster from one other meal, or any variety of issues.

What’s contemporary and in season? What do you might have in your crisper drawer or pantry already? Take this recipe and make it your personal!

Chicken Minestrone with Basil PestoNo bean in my cabinet escapes candidacy for the soup (besides perhaps black beans). I name for cannellini beans in right this moment’s recipe, however chickpeas, kidney beans, cranberry or navy beans are all good choices.

The similar is true for the pasta. I used small shells, however any small formed pasta will lend the soup a thick and hearty texture.

I’m, nevertheless, extremely opinionated about canned tomatoes. It could be simple sufficient to make use of any random can of diced tomatoes, however I at all times want to make use of complete San Marzano tomatoes.

These tomatoes are flavorful, gentle sufficient to squish together with your palms, and suspended in their very own thick sauce. With cheaper manufacturers, you usually find yourself with under-ripe tomatoes in a skinny sauce: acceptable however not optimum.

Even if you pay an additional greenback for high-quality tomatoes, they’re nonetheless most likely among the best bargains on the grocery retailer.

Chicken Minestrone with Basil PestoFinally, to the pesto. You can use store-bought pesto, or make your personal by throwing the pesto elements in a blender whereas the soup is simmering. This can be an effective way to make use of up any pesto you froze earlier in the summertime.

By the best way, should you’d prefer to protect your pesto’s vivid inexperienced shade, attempt blanching the basil leaves for a couple of seconds in boiling water earlier than mixing the pesto. Plunge the basil in ice water after blanching, then squeeze out as a lot moisture as attainable.

Yes, the pesto is fairly spooned over your bowl of minestrone, however it additionally provides a deep natural and tacky taste to each chew.

Chicken Minestrone with Basil Pesto Recipe


Use leftover rooster for this recipe, or shortly poach a couple of rooster breasts: How to Poach Chicken Breasts, the Quick and Easy Way.

Leftover soup will maintain for as much as 5 days within the fridge. It additionally freezes nicely, and might be frozen for as much as three months.

Vegetarian Variation: Skip the rooster, and add cubes of potatoes and a few thinly sliced cabbage. Use vegetable broth instead of rooster broth.


For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 giant yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra to style
  • Black pepper, to style
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 can (28 ounces) complete San Marzano tomatoes, with juices
  • 6 cups rooster inventory or water
  • 1/2 cup small pasta, similar to small shells, ditalini, or ancini di pepe,
  • 2 handfuls (eight ounces) inexperienced beans, trimmed and reduce into 1-inch lengths
  • three cups cooked, shredded rooster

For the pesto (or substitute 1 cup ready pesto):

  • 2 packed cups basil leaves
  • three tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/three cup olive oil
  • 1/three cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 to three tablespoons water, as wanted
  • Salt, to style


1 Cook the greens: In a big soup pot over medium warmth, warmth the oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring sometimes, for five minutes, or till the greens start to melt.

Chicken Minestrone with Basil PestoChicken Minestrone with Basil Pesto

2 Crush the tomatoes in a bowl: Pour the tomatoes and their juices right into a bowl. Using your palms, a dinner fork, or a potato masher, crush the tomatoes into small items.

Chicken Minestrone with Basil Pesto

three Simmer the soup: Add the beans, crushed tomatoes and inventory or water to the pot and convey to a simmer.  Cook for about eight minutes. Add the inexperienced beans and the pasta and proceed to prepare dinner for eight to 10 minutes, or till the pasta is tender. Stir within the shredded rooster and prepare dinner for one more minute, or till the soup is scorching right through.

Taste the soup and add extra salt and black pepper to style.

four Before making the pesto, blanch the basil (optionally available): Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Dunk the basil leaves within the boiling water, pushing them right down to submerge them.

After three seconds, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and switch them to the ice water bathtub. Drain and squeeze out extra water together with your palms. (This step is optionally available, however will assist your pesto retain its vivid inexperienced shade.)

Chicken Minestrone with Basil PestoChicken Minestrone with Basil PestoChicken Minestrone with Basil PestoChicken Minestrone with Basil Pesto

5 While the soup simmers, make the pesto: In a blender or meals processor, course of the nuts briefly bursts till finely floor. Add the basil, garlic, oil, Parmesan and 1 tablespoon of water.

Blend till the combination is coarsely pureed, pausing usually to push the combination down across the blade with a spatula. Add extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as wanted. Taste and add salt, should you like. Scrape the pesto right into a small bowl.

Chicken Minestrone with Basil PestoChicken Minestrone with Basil PestoChicken Minestrone with Basil Pesto

6 Serve the soup: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a couple of spoonfuls of pesto.

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