Ribollita with Herb Pesto

1 1/2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped red onion (l large)
1/2 cup chopped carrot (about 1 large)
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 3/4 cups (1/4-inch) cubed Yukon gold potato (about 1 medium)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
6 cups stemmed sliced Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Herb Pesto:
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 (1-ounce) slices Italian bread, toasted

To prepare soup, heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; sauté 6 minutes or until onion is tender. Add minced garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in potato and sage. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in chard; simmer an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and pinto beans. Simmer 5 minutes or until hot. Remove from heat; keep warm.

To prepare herb pesto, combine basil and remaining ingredients except bread in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping the sides with a spatula. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons pesto over each bread slice. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls. Tuck 1 pesto-topped bread slice into each serving.

from Cooking Light.