Monday, January 21, 2013

For Meatless Monday it's Minestrone

Easy Minestrone
This is my favorite version of Minestrone. I'm sure there are are as many ways to make it as there are cooks. I like to use small pasta such as tubetti, orzo or ditalini in this hearty, easy-to-make soup. Look for an "Italian Blend" of frozen zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and beans in your supermarket's frozen section. I usually end up using the California blend (carrots, broccoli and cauliflower) just because I can't always get the Italian.  :)
Serves 4 to 6
The Ingredients.
48 oz box low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can Italian diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pasta, dry (see above)
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen vegetables (see above)
Frozen or canned whole kernel corn
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
The Directions. 
1. Bring broth, beans, and tomatoes to boil in a large pot.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth mixture and pasta and simmer until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in vegetables and basil and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  I like to serve this with grated sharp cheddar cheese.

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