Recipe: Pesto Bean Soup

Pesto Bean Soup, Courtesy: Con Paulous
Pesto Bean Soup, Courtesy: Con Paulous

This soup has an interesting combination of flavors that create a unique and hearty dish. The olives and red pepper flakes add hot and salty components respectively, while the beans contribute an earthy tone. The pesto adds nice flavor and color. I was skeptical at first, but after reading the reviews on-line, I decided to give it a try. It was quite good for a light dinner, paired with salad and crusty bread. If you want to bulk it up a bit, try adding some turkey meatballs, diced chicken or sautéed sausage.

5 garlic cloves, sliced
pinch red pepper flakes
olive oil
2 can cannellinii beans, drained
1 cup water
3 Tbsp. pesto
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup roasted peppers, chopped


  1. Saute garlic and red pepper flakes in a skillet with olive oil.
  2. Add cannellini beans and water; simmer until thick, 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in pesto and grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Add chicken broth and chopped celery; cook 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in 1/2 cup each chopped olives and roasted peppers.
Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:
  • I added about 1/2 cup diced carrots for extra color and texture, along with croutons on top.
  • I used low sodium chicken broth as that is what I normally have on hand. Also, there is already enough salt in this recipe, with the inclusion of both cheese and olives.
  • See my basil pesto recipe here.

Yield: 4 servings





6 thoughts on “Recipe: Pesto Bean Soup

  1. Ema Jones April 20, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    I would love pairing it with rice!


      • Ema Jones April 22, 2015 / 11:17 am

        Hi Nancy, you are most welcome!
        I want to try the same recipe with chickpeas too…


  2. this abundant life April 20, 2015 / 10:45 am

    What a great twist on bean soup! I love bean soup but adding the pesto sounds like such a interesting flavor combination. I usually have to wait until I have a ham bone, but now I can make it anytime. Thanks!


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