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• 4 T. olive oil

• 5 cloves garlic, sliced

• 1 onion, small dice

• 1 green bell pepper, small dice

• 1 carrot, small dice

• 1 small eggplant, small diced (Japanese eggplant works also)

• 1 zucchini, small diced

• 1 small sweet potato, small diced

• 1 (14 oz.) can kidney beans (or other red bean), drained and rinsed

• 6 C. chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

• 4 oz. grated grana Padano cheese

• 1 lb. ditalini, cooked

Pesto –

• 1 c. basil leaves

• 1/2 C. mint leaves

• 1/3 C. toasted pine nuts

• ¼ lemon, zested

• 2 cloves garlic, chopped

• 2 T. grated parmesan cheese

• ¼ C. + 1 T. olive oil


1. Make the pesto – Combine the basil, mint, pine nuts, garlic, and lemon in a blender and pulse until a smooth paste is made. Next add the olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. If the pesto is too thick, thin out with a tablespoon or 2 of water or oil. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until use. (To store: either cover with a layer of olive oil, or freeze.)

2. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven and saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Do not burn the garlic. Next add the carrot, eggplant, zucchini, and sweet potato. Saute for another 4-5 minutes. Then Add the stock and kidney beans and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potato is cooked. Remove the dutch oven from the heat and stir in the pesto.

3. Divide the pasta between 4-6 bowls and ladle the soup over the pasta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.