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Minestrone Verde

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 29 mins
Total time 29 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups soup and about 1 tsp. pesto)

Brothy and light, this is a perfect summer soup. A quick and easy pesto adorns each bowl for a burst of herbal freshness. In a pinch, you can use purchased pesto. Any nut can work in place of the pine nuts, so if there’s an allergy, try switching to a nut or seed that’s safe (perhaps sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds will work). Try to serve soon after making; the tortellini will absorb more and more liquid the longer the soup sits.


  • 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 zucchini, 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

Nutrition Information

  • calories 354
  • fat 13.8 g
  • satfat 3.8 g
  • monofat 6.8 g
  • polyfat 1.9 g
  • protein 18 g
  • carbohydrate 42 g
  • fiber 5 g
  • cholesterol 32 mg
  • iron 4 mg
  • sodium 614 mg
  • calcium 237 mg
  • sugars 8 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Meanwhile, cook tortellini in a stockpot of boiling water 3 minutes less than package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

  4. 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.