Mexican Minestrone

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1 cup dried, freshly harvested beans (see Note)

3 cups chopped onion

Kosher salt to taste

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + more as needed

2 small leeks (tough tops removed), diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 celery rib, sliced

4 cloves minced garlic (about 1 tablespoon)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

6 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced (about 2 cups)

3 cups chopped baby rainbow chard or tender green chard, leaves only

3 to 4 small zucchini, cut crosswise into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)

1 cup low-sodium canned tomato puree

8 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups ziti or your favorite pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained and tossed with a little olive oil (optional)

Cilantro Pesto:

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 to 2 cloves garlic

2 cups cilantro sprigs

1 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed

Dried ground chipotle chiles, or julienned canned chipotles, to taste

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