Minestrone Soup

I have been using this recipe to make minestrone soup for years.  It is just wonderful!  It’s very versatile and can be easily tweaked to use what you have on hand. Chickpeas can be added instead of kidney beans. Additional veggies, such as fennel can be added for a change. 16 ounces of tomato juice can be used instead of the tomato paste. Increase or decrease the amounts of ingredients to suit your taste. I usually add more shell macaroni (or ditalini pasta) and sometimes leave out the spinach or kale (although it’s equally as good with these ingredients). I usually add more broth than this recipe calls for….I like mine brothy. This soup freezes really well.

Minestrone Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups vegetable stock
2 cans (15 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 – 3 tsp. dried basil
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 cup fresh spinach or kale (optional)
½  cup shell macaroni (uncooked)

Sauté onions and celery in olive oil until tender.  Add garlic, sauté 2 more minutes.  Add veggie stock, cooked kidney beans, and basil.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste and dry pasta; return to a boil.  You can add more water at this point for a brothy soup.  Lower heat and simmer 5 – 7 minutes.  Add carrots and simmer 5 more minutes.  Add zucchini and spinach or kale and cook until tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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