This has been titled with a “We Might Be Giants” song to celebrate summer. In an effort to allow the summer to live on I made summer minestrone soup last night. It is chocked full of summer veggies that will no longer be fresh in a few weeks.
Summer brings many wonderful things including slower work hours. For some reason, may it be kids on vacation or adults desire to still have a summer vacation, the summer hours are a bit more relaxed. And as fall is approaching I see less and less of these relaxed hours. Not only do we have a slower work day, but summer also brings amazing veggies.
The recipe is a Rachel Ray recipe. Rachel Ray and my husband actually taught me how to cook, so I am very fond of RR (as well as my husband). This soup is easy and it will look very odd while you are a brewin’, but I promise nothing but fresh deliciousness.
I will attach a link to the recipe and also show the recipe below and show how I altered the recipe a little.
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 cup orzo
- 2 small or 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 pound green beans, cut into thirds (a generous handful)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 4 cups chicken broth (32 ounces)
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls)
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup tarragon leaves
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- 2 teaspoons grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
- Crusty bread, for passing around the table
In a deep skillet or soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and toast for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and green beans; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are softened, 8-10 minutes. Add the wine and boil for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the scallions and cook until the orzo is al dente, about 3 minutes.
While the soup is working, in a food processor, puree the basil, cheese, parsley, tarragon, pine nuts, garlic, lemon peel and lemon juice. Scrape down the sides and then, with the motor running, pour in the remaining 1/3 cup EVOO. Also in the food process add 1 cup of the broth from your cooking soup. Season with salt and pepper. Add pesto mix to the soup (this is where my recipe alters a bit).
Divide the soup among four bowls. Serve with the bread.
Either way you make the soup it is delicious and full of wonderful summer veggies.
Lastly, a little science lesson.