This soup is a winner. I have ALWAYS wanted to make minestrone soup and usually the 20-30 ingredient list scared me off. Finally, I found a recipe that looked similar to an Italian restaurant we recently went to. It’s perfect. I just suggest cooking it longer than the recipe states to meld the flavors more and make the veggies more tender. If you use veg. stock instead of chicken stock and omit the cheese, it’s vegan. As usual, I omitted the onion and garlic and opted for powder. For ease I used the crushed tomato can. Enjoy!
- 4 tsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 1-2 celery stalks, thinly sliced, with some celery leaves chopped thin
- 1 potato (any kind), peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil or 1 T. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
- 2 large bay leaves
- 4 med. tomatoes, peeled cored seeded and chopped – or 1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, with juice
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-in. pieces
- 4 oz. rotelle or other tubular pasta (I used 2 oz. uncooked pasta and boiled it separately).
- 2 cups cooked and drained pinto or white kidney beans ( I used red kidney beans)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- 3 T. minced parsley
- In a large heavy pot, heat olive oil over low heat 1 minute.
- Add onions and garlic, saute 5 mins or until soft.
- Increase heat to medium and add carrots, celery, potato, zucchini, basil, and oregano. Cook, uncovered, 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomatoes, chicken broth, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
- Then reduce heat, simmer uncovered, 20 minutes.
- Add green beans, cover and simmer 10 mins. or until beans are tender but still crisp. Remove bay leaves.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt.
- Drain and add pasta to soup along with beans of your choice.
- Cook until heated through, about 3-5 minutes. Simmer more if potatoes are not tender.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese and parsley.