One bowl of this soup provides three of the recommended five daily servings of vegetables! The fact that this recipe is also delicious is just a yummy bonus.



  • 1 cup dried navy or white beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, diced, rinsed well
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, diced
  • 8 oz. red bliss or yukon gold potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1 lb. plum tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 oz. green beans, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, cubed
  • 1 cup fresh shelled or thawed frozen peas
  • coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Makes 6 servings.


  1. Cover beans with 6 cups cold water in a large pot. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 1 hour.
  2. Drain beans, return to pot. Cover with 3 quarts cold water. Add bay leaf and thyme, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer, partially covered until beans are barely tender, about 2 hours.
  3. Add leeks, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth, and 2 cups water. Simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. To make the pesto, finely chop garlic in a food processor. Add basil; process. Add cheese and oil; process until combined.
  5. Add green beans and zucchini to pot. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes. Add peas and cook until soft, 5–10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls; top each with 1 heaping teaspoon of pesto.

(Source: Martha Stewart.)

Barbara Walch

Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature,...