I make this every year, usually in August, and, except for the bay leaf, all the ingredients are 100% homegrown organic straight from the garden! This recipe can also be expanded infinitely in size so as long as you’ve got a pot big enough to hold it all!
1 pound fresh shell beans or white dry bean like cannellini or great northern, soaked in warm water for at least 12 hours but preferably 24 hours
1 bay leaf
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 pound yellow onions, finely chopped
1 pound zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 pound green beans, ends removed and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
Super easy method! First cook the beans, bay leaf, garlic, and onions together at a vigorous simmer in 2 qt. of fresh water until the beans are soft. About 30 minutes for fresh shell beans, 45-60 minutes for dried beans. Drain the beans reserving the cooking liquid and bay leaf.
Return the cooking liquid and bay leaf to the pan and add enough water to make 6 cups total. Bring to a simmer and add the zucchini/summer squash and green beans and cook for 10 minutes. Next add the tomatoes and continue cooking until everything is tender but not yet falling apart. Then add the already cooked beans and let simmer for another five minutes or so. Remove the bay leaf. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into serving bowls and spoon some the pesto on top.
In a blender whirl together several cloves of raw garlic or several whole bulbs of roasted garlic along with LOTS of basil, adding enough extra virgin olive oil to get a nice puree of moderate thickness. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I make this every year and keep it in the fridge to add quick flavor to almost any dish, it’s especially good spooned into soup or smeared on chicken. I also make a similar version using cilantro instead of basil.