Minestrone (hearty Italian vegetable soup) with pesto (basil paste)
by Ernest Reynoso Gala
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped pancetta or bacon
1/2 cup thinly sliced diagonally celery stalks
1 cup finely chopped white onions
1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 cups peeled carrots sliced into 1/2-inch thick rings
2 medium-sized zucchinis, washed and cut into lengthwise quarters then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices
2 cups peeled and diced 1/2 inch potatoes
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
2 cups canned stewed tomatoe
2 cups cooked and washed navy beans
3 chicken cubes
3 cups water
2 tsp rock salt
1 tsp pepper.
2. Pesto topping: Put in a blender and pulse until smooth:
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 cloves/segments peeled garlic.
3. Procedure: In a deep casserole, put oil and bacon and cook 3 minutes. Add celery, rice, onion, and cook 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except cooked beans). Let boil, cover, simmer 30 minutes until vegetables are wilted. Add beans and cook until boiling.
4. Scoop into 10 soup bowls (capacity: 2 cups) each. Garnish with dollops of pesto. Note: You may use half the recipe.