- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large leek, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 large Yukon gold potato, diced
- 1 bn Swiss or rainbow chard, stems diced, leaves sliced, separated
- 1 can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup small pasta, such as acini di pepe or mini elbows
- 1/2 cup pesto, plus more for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, for garnish
- Basil leaves, for garnish
- Toasted baguette, optional
In a large pot over medium heat, add oil. When oil shimmers, add leek, carrot, celery, zucchini, potato, and chard stems (set leaves aside) and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beans, broth, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Optional: Remove 2 cups of soup and place into a blender and puree until smooth. Alternately, use an immersion blender to partially puree soup directly in pot.
Meanwhile, cook pasta separately according to package directions, then drain. Once vegetables in soup are tender, return puree to pot. Add chard leaves, pesto, and stir to combine. Once leaves have wilted, adjust soup consistency by adding more water or broth, if needed, and adjust seasonings. When ready to serve, place a small portion of cooked pasta in bottom of a soup bowl, ladle soup over, and garnish with desired toppings.
Store pasta separately from soup to keep pasta from absorbing broth and turning into large, mushy orbs. When reheating, simply mix them together right before.
Nutrition per serving: 310 calories; 14g total fat (2g saturated); 560 mg sodium; 40g carbohydrates; 8g dietary fiber; 4g sugar (0g added sugar); 8g protein