Minestrone Soup

Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 3 hours

Serves:8

This is our favorite vegetable soup. It makes a wonderful meal with a loaf of fresh bread. It also reheats well and we like to have it for several lunches during the week.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups dried red kidney beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 6-8 fingerling potatoes, chunked
  • 1/2 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup parsley flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup uncooked whole wheat elbows

Directions

Place the beans in a large pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes, turn off heat and let rest for 1 hour. (To eliminate this step, soak beans overnight.) Drain off water. Add onion, garlic and 8 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 1 hour. Add celery, carrot, potatoes, green beans, tomato sauce and all the seasonings. Return to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans, canned tomatoes and zucchini. Cook for another 30 minutes. Then add the cabbage and pasta and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Hint: I have many varieties of minestrone that I make throughout the fall and winter months, but this one is our favorite. You may use any type of uncooked pasta that you like, we also like spaghetti broken into 2 inch pieces in this soup. To change the flavor of this soup a bit, stir in a tablespoon or two (or more) of oil free pesto.