2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced thinly
1 shallot, diced
1 carrot, diced
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
handful offresh parsley, chopped
10 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used chicken)
1 cup white cannellini beans
2 tomatoes, chopped into small wedges
1 cup zucchini, diced
8 asparagus spears, cut into 1.5 inch pieces on the diagonal
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1.5 cups small pasta (ziti, fusilli, orecchiette,ruote)
HOMEMADE BASIL PESTO
1 cup torn basil leaves
¼ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
large tablespoon walnuts or pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add leek, shallot, carrot, salt and pepper and stir frequently until softened – 5-7 minutes.
Add tomato paste and garlic, stirring for one minute until paste is well mixed with other ingredients.
Add the stock, beans, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta, turn down heat to medium high and cook for 10 minutes, keeping it at a low boil.
Add the tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, peas and mushrooms. Cook until tender – approximately 7 minutes.
Stir in the pesto, stirring well for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Combine basil and pine nuts in food processor, pulsing a few times to mix well.
Add garlic and cheese, pulsing a few more times. Slowly drizzle the olive oil in while continuing to pulse until it forms the proper consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.