Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup on stove, 18 Nov 2012

Minestrone soup is our dinner many nights during the fall and winter. In summer, we often have a green dinner salad with tuna, shrimp, egg, beans, or some other protein in addition to lettuces, cucumbers, carrots, olives, and other goodies. I see Minestrone as the soup version of salad: an easy meal of lots of healthy, tasty veggies.

This recipe is adapted from one posted by Whole Foods.

Minestrone Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil (or less, dried)
  • 2 large stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 (28 ounces) can chopped tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1 cup or more cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 (15 oz) can small red beans, drained
  • 1 cup dried fusilli or rotini pasta
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach (or regular spinach leaves, torn)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese – optional

Method:

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent. Add broth, tomato paste, parsley, basil, celery, carrots, bay leaf, and tomatoes with their juice and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add chickpeas, beans and zucchini, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add pasta and simmer another 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.

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