Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Minestrone Soup


I adapted this recipe from an Olive Garden copycat recipe. How random is that? I changed quite a bit of it, but it was a good basic start for minestrone soup. This is one of the few foods I will eat with beans in it. I bet if I tried other foods with beans in them, I would probably like them, but I am certainly not going to venture there. My only complaint with it is that the zucchini loses its center. Next time I am going to try throwing it in at the end with the spinach and the pasta. I made this with garlic bread made with fresh garlic. Of course C prefers garlic salt...sigh...at least he didn't comment about getting a meatless meal!

Minestrone

Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced white onion (about 1 small onion)
1/4 cup chopped zucchini
1/4 cup chopped green beans
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
2 cups vegetable broth (Swanson is good *note: Do not use chicken broth!*)
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, drained
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup carrot, julienned or shredded
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups water
2 cups fresh chopped spinach
1 to 2 cups small shell pasta

Directions
1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
2. Saute onion, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, water, and spices.
4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
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