Italian Herb Soup

I was inspired to make this soup because I had a container of the new Trader Joe's vegan kale, cashew and basil pesto in the fridge. I had used some of the pesto straight out of the container with some pita bread and honestly I didn't love it. It had a tinge of bitterness from the kale that I wasn't loving as a dip.

However, I got inspired to use it in my cooking, and this is where the product really shined. I used it along with bullion as the base of this easy soup-- the pesto imparts a wonderful herb flavor without the need for fresh herbs. I also used it for some oven roasted garlic and pesto broccoli--and it was divine. This would make even the most veggie-averse love broccoli.

Italian Herb Soup
1 shallot (minced)
1 medium bell pepper (diced)
1/3 C orzo
1/2 can garbanzo beans (drained, that aquafaba if you're baking soon)
2 tsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp bouillon (I use this) and several cups of water
2-3 Tbsp pesto
1/2 bag spinach (chopped)
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

1. In a medium stockpot add 1-2 tsps of oil and heat to medium. Add shallot and bell pepper and cook until beginning to brown.
2. Add water and bring to a boil, add bouillon, tomato paste, and garbanzo beans. Stir and bring to a low boil.
3. Add orzo and pesto, stir. Cook 10-15 minutes. Lowering heat if necessary.
4. Taste and add salt and pepper. Add spinach and cook 3-4 minutes. 
5. Serve immediately with warm garlic bread.