Anne’s Minestrone col Pesto

6 servings
90 minutes

200g dried mixed pulses (e.g. red kidney beans, white beans, pinto beans, spelt, “green grain” (unripe spelt), red lentils, split peas, red or brown rice. I use Davert’s “Bunte Minestrone/ varied minestrone” mix, 49810)
1 large white onion
1 small leek
4 small peeled waxy potatoes
2 carrots
2 parsley roots
2 sticks of celery, or small piece of celery root
2 small zucchinis
2 tomatoes (boiled, peeled, sieved)
400ml good chicken stock
150 g soup pasta (heart-shaped pasta or wagon wheels/rotelle)
4 tbs olive oil
2 tbs pesto
salt, ground pepper
4-6 tbs grated Parmesan
bunch of fresh sweet basil or borage, with flowers

Soak the mixed pulses overnight, for at least 12 hours.
Throw out soaking water, simmer separately in fresh unsalted water for 30-40 minutes.
Slice onion, leek, potatoes, carrots, parsley roots, celery, zucchinis. In a large pot, sauté onions in a drop of olive oil until translucent. Add the other vegetables, and fill pot with 1.5 liters of water and the chicken stock. Skim the foam from the boiled mixed pulses and add them to the soup, along with the boiling water (which should amount to a cup or two). Simmer soup over low heat for 30 minutes. Then add sieved tomatoes to the pot. Finally, add salt & pepper and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Just before serving, bring soup to a boil and add the pasta hearts or wheels, cooking until they are al dente (about 5 minutes). Then turn off heat, mix pesto with a tablespoon of the soup and the rest of the olive oil and add. Serve with fresh basil/borage and grated Parmesan, and have a pepper mill and olive oil to hand at the table.

Bon appetit!