Creamy Tomato White Bean Soup with Pesto
A few neglected cans of white beans and crushed tomatoes and a scoop of leftover pesto were the inspiration for this amazing recipe. It’s such a simple soup, but the vivid contrasts of color, textures and flavors make it work. Sure, tomato soup is incredible on its own, but the pesto especially welcomes bright, aromatic and herby flavors and against the creamy tomato soup, the basil pesto gleams. The white beans give the broth body, and I know you’ll love the tasty twist I’ve put on this old favorite.
Yields6 - 8 servings
- For the Soup
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon (9 g) garlic, pressed
- 3 cups (720 ml) chicken broth
- 1 (15-oz [425-ml]) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 (14-oz [396-g]) cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- Pesto, of course!
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
Press “Sauté” and add the butter to the Instant Pot. Once the butter melts, add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Mix in 1 teaspoon of salt and the garlic. Stir for 30 seconds.
Press “Cancel” to exit the sauté mode and then add in the chicken broth, beans, crushed tomatoes and sugar. Stir to combine.
Secure the lid in place. Press the “Pressure Cook” button until the display light is under “HIGH” and use the “-/+” button to adjust the time to 3 minutes. Be sure the valve on top is set to sealing.
Once the timer sounds, let the pot sit undisturbed to allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then release any of the remaining pressure. Once the pin drops, remove the lid.
Stir in the heavy cream. Carefully transfer the soup to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. (You may need to do this in 2 to 3 batches.) Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender. Serve the soup immediately with pesto on top, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper.
Using a mortar and pestle creates an incredible pesto for this soup, but I realize not everyone owns one. Using a food processor to combine the pesto ingredients will also work.
Reprinted with permission from Italian Cooking in Your Instant Pot by Tawnie Graham. Page Street Publishing Co. 2023. Photo credit: Tawnie Graham.
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