Minestrone Soup

4 TBSP olive oil
3 cups onion, chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp. salt
3 celery stalks, minced
3 medium carrots, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 medium bell peppers, diced
6-8 cups water
30 oz. tomato sauce (approx. 4 cups)
3 cups dry pasta (any shape)
3 cups cooked chick peas or kidney beans
1 cup freshly minced parsley

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Add onions, garlic and salt. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add celery, carrots, and spices. Cover and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper, zucchini, beans, water and tomato puree. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Bring soup to a gentle boil. Add pasta, and cook until the pasta is tender. Serve with cheese sprinkled on top. Freezes well.

Recipe modified from the Moosewood cookbook.

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