Vegetable soup with fragrant pesto

This soup is based on pistou, the classic French soup from Provence. Laden with vegetables and pasta, and flavoured with pesto, the delicious basil and parmesan sauce, it makes a fabulous change from minestrone, its Italian counterpart. French bread is the traditional accompaniment.

Vegetable soup with fragrant pesto
Perfect Pasta
Vegetable soup with fragrant pesto


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 large zucchini, diced
150 g green beans, cut into short lengths
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1.25 litres vegetable stock
250 g tomatoes, chopped
85 g vermicelli, broken into small pieces
2 tablespoons pesto

To serve
(optional) ⅓ cup (35 g) freshly grated parmesan


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the leek, zucchini, beans and garlic and fry over a moderately high heat for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and beginning to turn brown.
  3. Pour in the stock.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan.
  6. Simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, but still holding their shape.
  7. Stir in the vermicelli
  8. . Cover the pan again and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the pasta is al dente
  9. .Ladle the soup into bowls and add 1½ teaspoons pesto to each.
  10. Stir, then serve, offering the parmesan separately to stir into the soup.

Each serving provides 1005 kJ, 240 kcal, 12 g protein, 12 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 20.5 g carbohydrate (4 g sugars), 3 g fibre

Serves 4
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes

Perfect Pasta

Perfect Pasta

is out now. Whether you’re cooking for a family or just for one or two people, there’s plenty here for you. Available from Reader’s Digest.

Find out more...

More Recipes

Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake

Easy Peasy Chocolate Cake

Here's a no-fuss, yet impressive, cake for a special occasion. Serve with a generous dollop of cream or a spoonful of good ice-cream.
Double Chocolate Creams

Double Chocolate Creams

A delicious treat, chocolate is a great feel-good food.

Need To Lose Weight? Start With Butter In Your Coffee

Need Help To Lose Weight? Start With Butter In Your Coffee

It may sound strange - and downright disgusting - but wellness experts are singing the praises of this buttery beverage.

Ricotta bruschetta

Ricotta bruschetta

With a selection of Italian–style antipasto vegetables in your refrigerator, interesting light meals and snacks can be prepared in minutes, such as these tasty toasts topped with capsicum and ricotta. A salad is all that's needed to make a sustaining lunch.

Roasted vegetable and pasta bake

Roasted vegetable and pasta bake

A hearty vegetarian dish packed with flavour, this is ideal for a family meal or casual entertaining. A selection of vegetables – butternut pumpkin, asparagus and leeks – is roasted in garlicky olive oil, then tossed with chunky pasta shapes and a cheesy sauce.