Ligurian Vegetable Soup

Serves 8

4 Tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced, white part only
3 shallots, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 lb. tiny red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, cleaned and sliced
10 cups vegetable stock
2 zucchini
2 cans unsalted, drained garbanzo beans
8 large chard leaves, ribs removed and shredded

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the leeks, shallots, onion, potatoes, carrots and celery and sauté for 10 minutes, or until the leeks and onions begin to brown. Add the stock, cover the pot partially, and cook until vegetables are soft. Just before serving, bring the soup to a boil and taste for salt and pepper. Drop in the zucchini, garbanzo beans and chard and cook for 1 minute. Serve with pesto.


Makes about 3/4 cup

3 cloves garlic
2 cups basil leaves salt
1/2 cup pine nuts pepper
1/2 cup grated (not shredded) real Italian Parmesan
1/2 cup olive oil

Chop the garlic, basil, salt, pine nuts and pepper in a food processor. Add the Parmesan and mix well. Drizzle in the olive oil and process to a smooth paste. Serve with Ligurian Vegetable Soup.
(Rebecca Ets-Hokin)