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Minestrone with Pesto

A classic take on minestrone soup.
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Chef Ryan Callahan
Author of Cooking for Chemo...and After! and Cooking for Kids with Cancer

Dish Description:

A classic take on minestrone soup. The pesto sets off the freshness of the dish. This soup really puts the emphasis on the old joke that soup is made of leftovers and throwaway parts.

Tasting Guidelines:

  • This dish should taste light but savory.
  • The weight of this dish is light but can be balanced with tomatoes and sugar.
  • The texture of this dish is soupy.
  • This dish is good for people with low-to-severe treatment side effects.
  • This dish gives an emotional response of eating a home-cooked Italian meal.
  • This dish is best categorized as classic Italian.


  • 1 small can cannellini beans or great northern beans
  • 1 box of tricolor rotini noodles, cooked
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 red potatoes, diced
  • 1 large can tomatoes, diced
  • 4 oz. green beans, cut in short lengths
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 8 c. water

Flavor Balancers:

  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar


  • 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp. pesto sauce

Recipe Directions:

  1. In a large spaghetti pot, bring oil to a medium heat.
  2. Sauté garlic, carrots, onion, celery until onions are translucent but garlic is not burned.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except for pasta and pesto.
  4. Boil until potatoes are tender.
  5. Stir in cooked pasta 10 minutes before serving, and return to a boil.
  6. Remove from heat, and gently stir in pesto.
  7. Serve immediately. Mangia!
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Last modified: March 10, 2022

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