Monday, February 27, 2012

Minestrone soup

This recipe comes from The New Moosewood Cookbook, one of my all-time favorites. It's a hearty, very healthy soup full of fresh veggies and good-for-you beans. Minestrone tastes great when freshly made and  tastes even better the next day when the flavors have a chance to "marry" in the fridge. This soup yields about 6 to 8 servings and is quite filling.


2 Tbs olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
5 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt
1 stalk celery, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small zucchini, diced and/or 1 cup diced eggplant
1 tsp oregano
fresh black pepper, to taste
1 tsp basil
1 medium bell pepper, diced
3 to 4 cups (or more) water
1 14/12-oz can tomato purée (about 2 cups)
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked pea beans, chick peas or kidney beans
1/2 to 1 cup dry pasta (any shape)
1 or 2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, died (optional)
1/2 cup freshly mined parsley (optional)

1. Heat the olive oil in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add celery, carrot, eggplant (if using zucchini, add it later with the bell pepper), oregano, black pepper and basil. Cover and cook over very low heat about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add bell pepper, zucchini, water and tomato purée. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Add beans and simmer another 5 minutes.

3. Bring the soup to a gentle boil. Add pasta, stir and cook until the pasta is tender. Stir in the diced fresh tomatoes, and serve right away. Try serving it topped with some vegan parmesan.

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