Red Winter Minestrone with Winter Greens Pesto
The thing I like most about this soup is the pesto made from the greens of the beets and turnips, along with the kale. Yep, I'm going tip-to-tail. The soup itself gets its lovely red color from beets. You'll have more pesto than you need for the soup, so serve the leftovers over pasta or freeze for future soups. Serve the minestrone with crusty bread and a salad.
This recipe was submitted by Herbivoracious in collaboration with the OxBox Project: food bloggers creating delicious recipes featuring Oxbow Farm vegetables.
I highly recommended cooking the beans yourself, rather than using canned beans. The texture is better and you can use the bean cooking liquid as part of the soup broth for extra flavor. Reserve 3 cups bean cooking liquid and use in place of 3 cups water in step 6.
If you're using fresh Roma tomatoes in the soup, dip them in the boiling water for 30 seconds and transfer to ice bath. Remove skins when cool enough to handle.
Refrigerate pesto if you're making it ahead of time.
The first part of cooking the soup itself is to make a sofrito--onions, tomatoes, and garlic slowly cooked into a flavorful paste. If you have time on your hands, you might want to make a double or triple batch and save the rest to serve on pasta, or eggs, or to flavor rice. Sofrito freezes quite well.
If you prefer, you may use 2 canned plum tomatoes, grated, rather than fresh.
Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of pesto ingredients. The actual amount of pesto consumed will vary.