Last week, my dear friend Gina and I were trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I had beans in the freezer and pesto in the fridge and thought aloud about making soup, and Gina excitedly suggested serving it over garlic toast. It was awesome and a super fun and easy way to make soup a little more special. Thanks, G!
White bean and pesto soup over garlic toast
- 2 Tbsp olive oil + more for brushing
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced + 1 more whole peeled clove
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans (rinsed and drained if you’re using canned)
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 2 cups orecchiette or other small pasta
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems, washed and chopped
- ¼ cup rosemary pesto (optional, but if you’ve got pesto in your fridge, this is a great way to employ it!)
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Grated fresh parmesean for the omnis
- 1 baguette or other crusty bread (we used a few banh mi rolls), sliced into generously sized pieces
- Preheat your oven to 425º and set a medium pot of water on the stove and start heating it up. You’ll use the water to boil the pasta in a minute.
- Sauté the minced onion in olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until onions are translucent, 5-10 minutes. Add the celery and carrot along with a pinch of salt and the oregano and continue to sauté until they are soft and fragrant, another 5 minutes or so.
- Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Then, add your stock and turn up the heat to medium-high to bring to a simmer– this is the base of your soup. It’s a good base for just about any kind of soup, actually. If you are using frozen beans, you should add them at this point as well.
- While your stock is heating up, your pasta water should be just about boiling. Add some salt to your water– I’ve heart that in Italy they say it should be as salty as the sea. The Mediterranean is pretty salty! Go to town. If you don’t eat processed food, it’s pretty tough to get too much sodium in your diet.
- Add the pasta to the salted boiling water and cook according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, check on your soup base. When it’s simmering away happily, add the beans and chard, stir, and return to a simmer.
- While you are bringing your soup back to a simmer, make your toasts: rub a peeled clove of garlic on each piece of bread, then brush with olive oil and set ’em in the oven to toast. You can use a baking sheet if it makes your life easier, but Gina put them straight on the rack and they worked out great.
- Go drain your pasta! When your soup is back to simmering again, add the pastas to it. If your soup is too thick, add some more veggie stock or water. If it’s too thin, uncover it and let some of the water evaporate off. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Chop your basil, get out your bowls, and spoons, and ask your friends if they want salad.
- When you’re done taking care of that, your toasts should be about ready, but if your friends want salad and you realize that it’s going to take you a few minutes, just turn the oven down ’til you’re ready to take them out.
- At the very last minute, stir your pesto into the soup.
- Now, place 1 toast in the bottom of each bowl and ladle soup over it. Add a little chopped basil on top for everyone, and a little parmesean for the omnis.
What do you to make your soup more exciting? Let me know!