Tomato Minestrone with Buttery Pine Nut Breadcrumbs
This tomato minestrone has a buttery, warm flavor perfect for autumn.
- 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 to 4 small ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
- Salt and pepper
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 28-ounce can tomato purée
- 1 cup mini penne rigate or mini rigatoni, such as Barilla brand
- 1/2 basil leaves, torn
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 loaf crusty or stale bread
- 1 3-ounce jar pine nuts or 1/3 cup
- 1/4 grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more to pass at table
Yields: Serves 4
Preheat oven to 325˚F.
Heat a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions, garlic, green beans, carrots, celery, bay leaf, garbanzo beans and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables 7-8 minutes to soften then add in stock and tomato purée. Bring soup to a boil, add penne and cook 5 minutes. Stir in basil and turn off heat.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pot over low. Pulse bread and pine nuts together in a food processor. Turn breadcrumbs out onto a cookie sheet and toss with butter and cheese. Toast in oven 12-15 minutes, until light golden in color.
Top soup with breadcrumbs and serve.
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