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Monday, October 4, 2010

Minestrone Soup

This is from my friend Soni although I use chunky vegetables and she likes everything minced smaller or shredded/julienned.  It is one of my favorite ways to use my fall vegetables.  My kids grumble when I make it, but they eat it.  I told them this is a keeper despite their objections!

Minestrone Soup

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped white onion
1 small zucchini chopped
1/2 c cut up green beans
1 stalk celery diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 c vegetable broth (do not use chicken broth!  I have vegetable bouillon base that I use to make broth from)
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained
1 15 oz can small white beans or Great northern beans, drained
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 carrots (1/2 c) chopped
2 Tbsp cut up fresh parsley (opt)
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
3 c hot water
4 c fresh baby spinach (pieces torn in half if they are big)
1/2 c small shell pasta

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.  Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.  Add broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, carrots, hot water and spices.  Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.
Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes.  Makes about eight 1-1/2 c servings.  Serve with shredded parmesan cheese on top.

*This soup keeps for several days but does not freeze well.