The Occasion: This soup is perfect for a light lunch or supper the same day you visit the farmer’s market, or when you find an especially fresh batch of local veggies in your grocery’s produce aisle.
What Makes it Special? The abundance of fresh green veggies. Feel free to make substitutions, although the recipe from Cooking Light’s June issue is pretty great as-is. The filled tortellini; the delicate but flavorful broth; the dollop of pesto on top. Fact is, it’s all special.
Recipe source: Cooking Light
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil (from about 3 bunches)
- 2 tablespoons shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cups thinly sliced leeks
- 2 small zucchinis, sliced into half-moons
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 8 ounces refrigerated tortellini
- 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach (about 3 oz.)
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Process basil, cheese, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; process until very finely chopped and fully combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as necessary. Set aside.
- Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is just tender but not browned, about 4 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook tortellini in a stockpot of boiling water 3 minutes less than package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
- Add tortellini, spinach, and peas to soup. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute.
- Stir in lemon juice and salt.
- Ladle soup evenly into 4 bowls. Top each serving with pesto, and sprinkle evenly with pepper.