Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup, what’s not to like about this Italian favorite? Chock full of vegetables, Italian herbs, legumes and pasta all cooked in a tangy tomato broth always hits the spot at any time of the year. 

Minestrone Soup:
makes 8-10 generous servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 10 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 32oz jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • Fresh basil leaves, about 5-6
  • 2 tbsp Herbs de Provence or a blend of thyme, oregano, and chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp salt or to your taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 15 oz can beans of your choice such as white beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans or cannelloni beans. Drain and rinse beans and set aside.
  • 2 cups dry pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions:

  • In a large pot heat 4 tbsp olive oil.  Add chili flakes, garlic, and onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add all the mixed vegetables plus 2 cups water, salt and pepper, herbs and fresh basil. Cook vegetables until tender – 15 -20 minutes.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, add canned beans, spinach, pasta and 4 cups broth or water and cook for additional 10 minutes until pasta is cooked. Check to make sure the pasta hasn’t absorbed too much of the liquid, add more water or broth as needed to allow the pasta to cook.
  • After the pasta is cooked to your liking add the entire jar of marinara sauce and garlic powder, and heat soup for 5 minutes until bubbly.  Minestrone soup is ready.
  • Serve minestrone soup topped with Parmesan cheese and drizzle of olive oil.

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Cook’s Notes:  Minestrone can be made with any combination of vegetables. Try it with chopped butternut squash, pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli and any type of canned beans such as kidney beans, white beans, garbanzo beans, and navy beans.

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