Veggie Pesto Pasta Soup with Kale

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Vegetarian pasta soup is so super comforting. It’s got loads of Italian flavour and fills you up thanks to plenty of vegetables and beans!

Are you ready for extreme winter comfort food?

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Overhead shot of veggie pesto pasta soup on a blue background with a cloth

Bowl of veggie pesto pasta soup with bread on a board in the background

I am making non stop soups at the moment. There’s really nothing better in the winter than soup everyday. Especially when they’re so full of extra little treats like pasta and beans like this vegetable soup with pasta shells.

The most amazing thing about this soup is the pesto stirred through during cooking. It adds so much incredible flavour to the soup and is really such a simple way of completely changing up the flavour of the soup. 

I also added a parmesan rind to the soup and it’s one of my all time favourite tips to fill whatever you’re making with an amazing richness. I would highly recommend you add one to all your soups and stews. Please never throw away your parmesan rinds!

White pot of veggie pesto pasta soup with a ladle

Overhead shot of two bowls of veggie pesto pasta soup on a blue background

So here’s what we’ve got going on here…

Onion and garlic fried until softened then we add in carrots, thyme sprigs, vegetable stock, parmesan rind and pesto. Let that bubble away then liven everything up with a big squeeze of lemon juice.

Just before serving I stirred through some kale, beans and cooked pasta. I used this super cute tiny pasta I found at the supermarket which are basically just really tiny shells but you can use any shortcut pasta you like.

The reason I cooked the pasta separately is to avoid it soaking up to much of the liquid during the cooking process. If you would rather cook the pasta in the soup then keep an eye on the amount of liquid in the soup and add more stock if necessary. 

Pot of veggie pesto pasta soup on a blue background

Why we love this pasta soup:

  • It’s vegetarian and full of healthy ingredients which makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner
  • It’s easy to make gluten free, simply switch the regular pasta for your favourite gluten free brand
  • It’s a great soup to make for meal prep since you can make a big batch on a Sunday and then have it for lunches and dinners all week long
  • It’s perfect for the whole family as adults and kids will both love it and it’s filled with loads of healthy veg
  • Finally, it’s perfect for using up leftover vegetables and reducing food waste as you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand to the soup

White bowl of veggie pesto pasta soup with a pale cloth

Veggie Pesto Pasta Soup Ingredients:

  • Veggies: Onion, garlic, carrots and kale all go in to make this soup filling and nutritious. Use leftovers in this skillet vegetable pie
  • Herbs: I just used fresh thyme in this soup and it added a lovely layer of flavour
  • Vegetable Stock: This makes up the best of the soup so a good quality one is good or, even better, homemade
  • Pesto: Again shop bought or homemade is fine, I just used one from the supermarket. If you want to a way to use up leftovers then try making this breaded fish with pesto yoghurt dip
  • Parmesan Rind: The thing you should be adding to all your soups and stews, it adds a super savoury umami flavour that I cannot get enough of. If you’re looking for other recipes which use parmesan then try this simple tomato pasta
  • Pasta: Something little is best
  • Beans: I used butter beans but really any white bean will be good

Scroll to the bottom of this post to get the full recipe…

Ladleful of veggie pesto pasta soup

Close up shot of veggie pesto pasta soup in a white bowl

Veggie Pesto Bean and Pasta Soup Instructions:

  1. Fry the onion, garlic and carrot: Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion, cook for a few minutes then add the garlic and carrots.
  2. Add liquid and bring to a simmer: Add thyme sprigs, stock, pesto, parmesan rind and juice of the lemon to the pot and simmer.
  3. Cook the pasta: While the soup simmers cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
  4. Finish the soup: Add the kale, beans and pasta to the soup. Remove the parmesan rind and serve.

Equipment you need to make this recipe…

Overhead shot of a white bowl of veggie pesto pasta soup on a blue background

Bowl of veggie pesto pasta soup with a pale cloth and a spoon

Veggie Pesto Pasta Soup Variations:

  • Add protein: If you want to include meat in this soup then it would be really good with some shredded cooked chicken stirred through before serving
  • Use different beans: I used butter beans in this soup but you could switch them for whichever bean you prefer or even chickpeas
  • To make this recipe vegan use your favourite vegan pesto and leave out the parmesan
  • If you’re a strict vegetarian make sure to get vegetarian parmesan for this soup
  • Adding the parmesan rind is optional but highly recommended if you want that rich flavour
  • To make this recipe gluten free simply use your favourite brand of gluten free pasta

How to freeze pasta soup?

Since the pasta has a tendency to absorb extra liquid when left to sit, after freezing the soup you might need to add a little more water or stock when reheating to return it to its original soupy consistency.

What pasta to use for pasta soup?

I used this super cute tiny pasta called conchigliette which is basically a smaller version of conchiglie (it’s direct translation is little shells) but you could use any other small pasta. Orzo would work as would macaroni. 

What other veggies could I add to pasta soup?

As mentioned above, this recipe is great for reducing food waste as pretty much any vegetable will work. For this version is used carrots and kale because that’s what I had on hand but feel free to add whatever else you like including spinach, celery, broccoli, cauliflower or peas. Honestly anything will taste delicious!

Can pasta cook in soup?

If you want to cut out a step you could cook the pasta in the soup. However, the pasta soaks up a lot of liquid while cooking which is why I love to cook it separately. If you do cook it in the soup then make sure to keep an eye on how much liquid there is and top up with extra stock or water if necessary.

Veggie pesto pasta soup with parmesan grating over the top

Want more? Try these other vegetarian soup recipes!

Overhead shot of veggie pesto pasta soup on a blue background with a cloth

Veggie Pesto Pasta Soup with Kale

Vegetarian pasta soup is so super comforting. It's got loads of Italian flavour and fills you up thanks to plenty of vegetables and beans!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Calories: 377kcal
Author: Amy Fulwood

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 4 Carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 1/2 litres Vegetable Stock
  • 100 ml Pesto
  • 1 Parmesan Rind
  • 1 Lemon
  • 100 g Kale chopped
  • 250 g Short Pasta
  • 1 400g tin Butter Beans drained and rinsed
  • Parmesan for topping

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic and carrots and cooking for a few minutes more.
  • Add the thyme sprigs and plenty of salt and pepper to the pot along with the stock, pesto, parmesan rind and juice of the lemon, simmer for 20 minutes.
  • While the soup is simmering cook the pasta in a separate pot according to packet instructions.
  • Add the kale to the soup and stir to wilt. Remove the parmesan rind then add the pasta and beans. Serve topped with a grating of parmesan.
Nutrition Facts
Veggie Pesto Pasta Soup with Kale
Amount Per Serving
Calories 377 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 196mg8%
Potassium 701mg20%
Carbohydrates 55g18%
Fiber 8g32%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 8820IU176%
Vitamin C 34.6mg42%
Calcium 99mg10%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the ingredients used.
 
Did you make this recipe?Tag @amycookreport on Instagram and hashtag it #thecookreport!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Sonal
    22/01/2019 at 10:31 PM


    This is such a flavorful soup. I can literally live on soups. I love how you enhanced the flavors with the pesto. Nourishing and comforting!

    • Reply
      Amy
      23/01/2019 at 9:36 PM

      Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura | Wandercooks
    22/01/2019 at 10:47 PM


    Oh my gosh your photos are stunning, I feel like I could eat this soup straight out of my screen! Now I’ll just have to go make my own batch instead haha. Pasta soups are the best aren’t they? I feel like they bring an extra dose of comfort to the dish. 🙂

    • Reply
      Amy
      23/01/2019 at 9:35 PM

      Thank you so much Laura!

  • Reply
    Lisa Huff
    23/01/2019 at 1:40 AM


    Loving how healthy this is with all those delicious veggies!

    • Reply
      Amy
      23/01/2019 at 9:35 PM

      Thanks!

  • Reply
    Andrea Metlika
    23/01/2019 at 2:01 AM


    Looks so warm and comforting. The use of the pesto is genius and love the Parmesan rind on top.

    • Reply
      Amy
      23/01/2019 at 9:35 PM

      Thanks Andrea!

  • Reply
    Caitlyn Erhardt
    23/01/2019 at 2:32 AM


    This looks like the perfect combination of comfort and healthy! Great recipe 🙂

    • Reply
      Amy
      23/01/2019 at 9:33 PM

      Thank you!

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