Minestrone Alla Genovese With Pesto

Minestrone Alla Genovese With Pesto

Today, we are making a cheering, vegetable-rich soup that pays homage to the simplicity and freshness that embodies Italian cuisine. I am referring to minestrone alla Genovese with pesto.

At first glance, this recipe might seem like your typical minestrone, brimming with a medley of veggies stir-fried and simmered to perfection. But, the real magic happens at the very end with the addition of pesto.

This green, aromatic concoction, traditionally made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and extra virgin olive oil, completely transforms the humble minestrone, elevating it to new heights of flavor. The pesto brings a stunning depth and richness, acting as a flavour bridge that unites and accentuates the array of vegetables used.

Perfect for any season and any time of day, this Minestrone alla Genovese with Pesto captures the heart of Italian cooking—simple ingredients, executed well, resulting in a dish that’s more than the sum of its parts.


The Origins Of Minestrone With Pesto

The exact origin story of Minestrone alla Genovese with Pesto remains somewhat in the shadows of history. We do, however, know that its roots are firmly planted in Liguria, particularly in the city of Genova.

This heartwarming dish is an epitome of “cucina povera,” or “poor kitchen,” a concept deeply embedded in Italian cuisine. The term refers to traditional dishes made with easily available, often home-grown ingredients, embodying the ingenuity and resourcefulness of people who had to make the most of what nature provided.

Therefore, it’s plausible to believe that this minestrone was first created by farmers. They would utilize their own crops and legumes to stir up this rich, hearty soup, allowing the seasonality and freshness of their produce to take center stage in this seemingly simple, yet profoundly flavorful dish.

The addition of pesto, a staple sauce from Genova, added a lavish touch to the humble origins of the dish, and so, the Minestrone alla Genovese with Pesto was born.


ingredients for mintestrone alla genovese


Minestrone Genovese Ingredients

The Minestrone alla Genovese can be a grand celebration of vegetables, featuring a wide array of ingredients. Here’s a snapshot of what it traditionally includes:

  • Potatoes: Their starchy consistency adds body and thickness to the minestrone.
  • Cannellini Beans: Whether dried or canned, these beans provide a buttery texture and a slight nutty flavor.
  • Green Beans and Peas: Fresh or frozen, these add a pop of color and a sweet, slightly crunchy dimension.
  • Carrots: These root vegetables lend a hint of sweetness and an appealing vibrant color.
  • Onion: Essential for building flavor in any soup or stew.
  • Zucchini: A summer squash that adds a soft texture and mild flavor.
  • Celery: It provides a refreshing, slightly bitter note.
  • Spinach (or Chard): Leafy greens that wilt into the soup, adding healthy nutrients and a pop of green color.
  • Pesto alla Genovese: This is the magical component that sets this minestrone apart. This aromatic basil-based sauce is stirred in at the end, infusing the entire soup with its vibrant, herbaceous flavor.
  • Vegetable Broth Cube: Adds depth and enriches the overall flavor.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This final drizzle brings a hint of richness and ties all the flavors together.
  • Pepper: A little seasoning to enhance all the different flavors.


However, the recipe we are focusing on today is a pared-down, lighter version of this traditional dish. While it follows the spirit of the original Minestrone alla Genovese, it features a simpler selection of ingredients, making it easier to prepare without sacrificing the essence of this classic Italian soup


serving minestrone genovese

Minestrone With Pesto Recipe

Now that you know what it is that we are making and the origins of the dish, here are the ingredients and steps to prepare it for yourself and your family. I am sure you will love it, and it will become a staple in your house.
If you like the extra protein and fibre, don’t forget to add some cannellini or borlotti beans, even canned.
serving minestrone with pesto

Minestrone Alla Genovese With Pesto

If you've never tried adding pesto to your minestrone, you'll be delighted to know this one ingredient changes everything! It's so good.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5 starter
Calories 240 kcal


  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 chopping knife
  • 1 vegetable peeler
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 silicone spoon
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon



  • Peel and cut the onion, sliced thinly.
    minestrone with pesto ingredients
  • Peel and cut the potatoes, diced.
  • Peel and cut the carrot, diced.
  • Peel and cut the zucchini, larger pieces.
  • Sauté all the veggies you cut in Belmorso Extra Virgin Olive Oil with the celery stalks cut into half.
    vegetables for minestrone with pesto
  • Add the fagiolino, mix everything and let them sauté for a few more minutes.
    stir frying vegetables for minestrone with pesto
  • Prepare the stock, melting it into some water and add it to the veggies. Then cover them with water.
  • Simmer for 50 minutes.
    simmering minestrone with pesto
  • Then add the pesto, and mix well. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
    adding pesto to minestrone genovese
  • Serve with some crusty bread and black pepper. It's so delicious! Buon appetito.
    traditional minestrone with pesto


The calories above are for a starter portion without the bread.
Keyword minestrone, pesto


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Serve Minestrone Genovese With Homemade Ciabatta

If you have some extra time on hand, or have been wanting to make your own Italian ciabatta bread from scratch, now is a great time to try. It’s a little time consuming but you can make extra and freeze them. I defrosted mine for this recipe after 2 months, and the bread was still as delicious, especially after warming it up in the oven.

Here’s our ciabatta bread recipe.


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Other Italian Minestrone Recipes & Soups

Italian Sausage Soup with Broad Beans

Tomato and Basil Soup With Olive Oil Crostini

Cauliflower Soup With Gnocchi

Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup With Gold Balsamic

Pasta e Fagioli

Author: Alessia


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