Minestrone Soup

As Fall is starting to set in (slowly but surely) DC, it leaves me craving warm and hearty food.  With that being said I did a version of a classic Italian, belly-warming dish.  I was inspired to make this dish because my good friend just got back from a trip in Italy AND brought me some amazing home made pesto sauce, so why not put it to good use?!

Just as a disclaimer, and I have said this previously, but I cook for just myself so I eyeball everything for 1 or 2 portions.  (I like leftovers).

What you need:
Chicken Stock (eyeball the correct amout for how many people you are serving)
Pasta (This is not the main point of the dish, so don’t use a ton)
Canned crushed tomato
1/2 a zucchini
1 small carrot
3 large kale leaves
1/3 of a Spanish onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 can cannellini beans (drained)
2-3 spoonfuls of pesto
Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
1. Chop up your garlic, onion and carrots and put in your pot to start cooking/carmelizing- for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions start to sweat.  Deglaze the pan with your chicken stock.
1.5.  Start cooking your pasta in a different pot.  It is so important NOT to cook your pasta in the soup or the starch will make the soup thick and goopy.
2.  While your o+g+c+chicken stock are simmering start to cut your zucchini and kale.
3. Add your kale, beans (which you have drained and rinsed) and pasta (which you have also cooked al dente and drained) to the soup.
4. After that has simmered for a while (use your judgement) add your zucchini.  You add the zucchini later in the process of the soup so it doesn’t get soft.
5.  At this point, add a few spoonfuls of the crushed tomatoes, making sure to get some of the juice.  This step is basically to make the broth a reddish color.  Then add your pesto to taste!
6.  After letting this simmer (again) for a while, and your soup is ready to serve!! But don’t forget to sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top!

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