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+ servings

Smoky Minestrone with Tortellini and Pesto


  • Soup
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 - 4 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 - 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Italian spice blend
  • 1 leek, trimmed and sliced thinly
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (vegetable stock is also a great option)
  • parmesan rind optional
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked
  • 1 28 oz. can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes with juice
  • fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 cup kale, chopped fine
  • 12 oz package cheese tortellini
  • Aged balsamic vinegar for drizzling- optional
  • Grated parmesan cheese for garnish- optional

  • Pesto
  • 1 cup loosely packed parsley or basil
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil + more depending on the consistency you prefer


  • Soup
  • Preheat a large stockpot on low to medium heat and add the olive oil to it.
  • Add the bacon to the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes or until it begins to brown a bit.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for a few more minutes, or until the garlic is becoming fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes (crushing them with your hands as you go), stock, sea salt, and Parmesan rind, and bring the pot to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the beans and kale. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the kale is wilted.
  • Remove the parmesan rind and discard
  • Serve garnished with a spoonful of the pesto, a few drops of aged balsamic, and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
  • Store in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze for a few months

  • Pesto
  • In your food processor, add all of the pesto ingredients and blend until it's the consistency you'd like, adding additional olive oil 1 tsp at a time to thin it