Fragrant basil pesto adds a taste of summer to this healthier version of a classic French soup. Aromatic vegetables add flavour and plenty of vitamins while keeping the fat in check. What a wonderful way to eat your vegetables!
500 g roma tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 yellow zucchini, or 3 baby squash, about 150 g in total, sliced
1 green zucchini, sliced
450 ml reduced-salt chicken stock
450 ml reduced-salt vegetable stock
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 1/2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
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Grease a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, carrot, celery and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, yellow zucchini or squash, and the green zucchini. Sauté the vegetables until they are soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and vegetable stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the flavours have blended, about 20 minutes.
Place the basil and pesto in a food processor and pulse until the basil is chopped. Process until the pesto is thick and creamy.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the pesto and serve.
For vegetarian vegetable soup, substitute another 450 ml vegetable stock for the chicken stock. You can also vary the vegetables. Always start with sautéed onion, carrot, celery and garlic. In spring, add a handful of fresh green peas during the last 10 minutes. During summer, team the tomatoes with corn and green beans.