Pesto Pasta Soup

One of my many mottos is 'If it’s got pesto — I’m in'
Staff Writer
pesto soup

George Duran

One of my many mottos is “If it’s got pesto — I’m in.” And a delicious dollop of the stuff in the center of this vegetable and pasta soup is the ultimate jumpstart into the fantastic flavor combinations that await.


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Cups carrot, chopped
  • 1 Cup celery, chopped
  • 6 Cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 Cups dried medium shell pasta
  • 6 Tablespoons basil pesto
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded (optional)


In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Put in the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the carrots and celery and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta.

When the pot returns to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Stir occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick together and skim off any foamy starch that appears on the surface.

Turn off the heat and stir in the basil leaves. Serve in bowls garnished with a tablespoon of pesto.

Pesto Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Pesto Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.