Summer Minestrone with Garlic Scape Pesto

Down arrow. Click to jump to the recipe.

Jump to recipe

This summer minestrone soup is a hearty and delicious way to use up your seasonal produce. It's loaded with fresh vegetables, beans, pasta, and a flavorful garlic scape pesto that adds a burst of freshness and color. It's easy to make, vegan-friendly, and perfect for a cozy lunch or dinner.
Freezer Friendly

Summer is almost here, and that means it's time to enjoy the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables from your CSA membership. One of my favorite ways to use up all the summer produce is to make a big pot of minestrone soup. Minestrone is a classic Italian soup that can be adapted to whatever ingredients you have on hand. It's hearty, filling, and comforting, but also light and refreshing.

This summer minestrone soup is especially delicious because it features a homemade garlic scape pesto that adds a ton of flavor and brightness to the dish. Garlic scapes are the curly green stems that grow from the garlic bulb. They have a mild garlic flavor and a crunchy texture. To make the pesto, you just need to blend the scapes with some pine nuts, lemon, cheese, and olive oil. It's so easy and so tasty!

The soup itself is made with vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, summer squash, green beans, cannellini beans, chard, and small pasta. It's a simple and satisfying combination that showcases the best of summer. You can serve the soup hot or cold, and add a dollop of garlic scape pesto on top of each bowl. Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese if you like, and enjoy!

Customizing Your Minestrone

  • This recipe is meant to be versatile to use whatever fresh produce you have on hand. Feel free to swap out whatever veggies you don’t have for what you do. Some great candidates for this dish are carrots, celery, leeks, zucchini, peas, bell peppers, spinach, and kale.
  • If you can't find garlic scapes, you can use a store-bought pesto, or use your own favorite pesto recipe.
  • You can swap out the cannellini beans for any other white beans, such as navy beans, great northern beans, or chickpeas. You can also use red kidney beans, black beans, or lentils for a different color and texture.
  • You can use any shape or size of pasta, such as macaroni, shells, penne, or fusilli. You can also use rice, quinoa, barley, or couscous for a different grain option. You can also omit the pasta or grain altogether if you want a lower-carb or gluten-free soup.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

You can store the leftover soup and pesto separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat the soup, you can microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway, or heat it in a pot over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot.

Freezing and Reheating

You can freeze the soup and pesto separately in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. To thaw the soup and the pesto, you can transfer them to the refrigerator overnight, or microwave it on low power, stirring occasionally, until defrosted. You can also reheat the soup and pesto directly from frozen, following the same methods as above, but allowing more time and stirring more frequently.

Summer Minestrone with Garlic Scape Pesto

Summer Minestrone with Garlic Scape Pesto

Prep Time:
25 min
Cook Time:
25 min
Total Time:
50 min
6 - 8
Equipment Needed
  • A blender or food processor
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 medium summer squash, diced
  • 2 cups of green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups of chard, chopped
  • 1 cup of small pasta, such as ditalini or orzo
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

For the garlic scape pesto:

  • 10 garlic scapes, ends trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/8 cup freshly grated pecorino
  • 1/3 cup of high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  1. To make the garlic scape pesto, heat a small unoiled frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and toast, stirring constantly, until toasty. This will happen quickly, 1 – 2 minutes. Be sure not to over toast.
  2. Zest the lemon then cut it in half and juice one of the halves.
  3. Add the scapes, pine nuts, salt, lemon zest and juice to a blender or food processor. Process until a paste forms, scraping down the sides as needed. Add in the cheeses and olive oil and pulse until fully incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the vegetable stock, water, diced tomatoes, squash, green beans, cannellini beans, bay leaf, basil, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the chard and pasta, and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Discard the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and add a small dollop of garlic scape pesto on top of each serving. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.
Recipe Tips
Back to Top Arrow