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Quick Minestrone With Parmesan Toasts

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Quick Minestrone With Parmesan Toasts

Quick Minestrone With Parmesan Toasts
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
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total prep
Why transform canned vegetable soup into minestrone when you can simply buy minestrone in a can? It's a perfectly reasonable question with a perfectly reasonable answer: Canned versions tend to be heavy on the tomato and weak on the dark leafy greens which are the secret to the deep mineral-rich flavor of an authentic minestrone. Another reason? Pasta cooked fresh in the soup retains that all-important chew, a welcome texture compared to the soft mush of soup noodles from a can. Stirring pesto into the pot at the end is a great trick borrowed from minestrone's cousin from the South of France,soupe au pistou.

Don’t feel bound to make the toasts; the soup is delicious on it's own, but I've found with my two daughters that as long as there's a crisp crunchy something to go alongside this soup -- or any soup, actually -- I can count on smiles at the dinner table.


  • 6 long diagonal baguette slices
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • SOUP:
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans vegetable soup (18- to 19-ounces each)
  • 1/3 cup ditalini or other small tubular pasta
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto, plus additional for serving


  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Spread pesto evenly on the top side of each bread slice and arrange next to each other on a baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook garlic and pepper flakes in oil in a medium-saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until garlic is golden.
  • Add kale, water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, covered, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until kale is tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Add soup and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Add pasta and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Stir in pesto and thin soup, if necessary, with additional water.
  • Serve remaining pesto on the side for diners to add as they wish.