Tomato and White Bean Soup with Pesto

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Tomato and White Bean Soup with Pesto

Tomato soup is such a traditional dish, that I love this slight variation of it. The pesto can be adjusted for each dinner guest’s preference.  Serve with a grilled cheese.
·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         1 large yellow onion, chopped 
·         4 celery stalks, chopped
·         2 medium carrots, chopped
·         3 cloves garlic, quartered
·         1/2 cup dry white wine
·         1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
·         2 cups canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
·         1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
·         2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
·         2 bay leaves
·         Salt to taste
·         4-6 tablespoons prepared pesto
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. 

Add celery, carrots and garlic; cook, stirring, until vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add wine; stir to scrape brown bits off bottom of pot. 

Add stock, beans, tomatoes, bay leaves and 1/4 teaspoon salt. 

Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Remove bay leaves from soup; discard. 

In blender or using a hand-blender, carefully puree soup. (If you want to make it creamier, but a little less healthy, add some cream or half-and-half here.) 
Divide soup among bowls, dollop each with pesto, and swirl in; serve with a grilled cheese. 



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