Monday, February 18, 2013

Minestrone Soup

This cold and flu season has been relentless in our household. Just when I though we were finally all better and out of the woods of catching anythings else any time soon, we got sick AGAIN! Since I think soup is a staple food for when you are sick, and its necessary to eat as healthy as possible minestrone soup was the answer.And whats healthier than a soup full of veggies. Shhh don't tell the husband or kids. They might be fooled when they see some noodles floating in there too!  I first fell in love with minestrone soup when I tried it at olive garden. I used to go all the time during lunch while attending beauty school and would get soup, salad, and bread sticks. This recipe has got to be just as good as the one there.
Minestrone Soup 
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Small onion chopped
1 Zucchini sliced and quartered
1 Yellow squash sliced and quartered
2 Celery stalks diced
2 Carrots julienne style 
1/4 cup chopped green beans
3 garlic cloves or 2 1/2 tsp minced garlic 
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1-15 oz can light red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1-15 oz can northwestern beans (drained and rinsed)
1-28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
3 cups chopped baby spinach
1 cup small pasta shells
In a large stockpot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, zucchini, squash, celery, carrots, green beans and garlic. Saute for 5-6 minutes or until onion becomes soft and translucent. 
Add in vegetable stock, spices, beans and diced tomatoes. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Once the carrots and squash are tender add in the chopped spinach and pasta shells. Allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the noodles are al dente. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top and some garlic bread or bread sticks.

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