Minestrone Soup ~ move over chicken soup, this healthy Italian minestrone will cure what ails you, it's packed with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, & flavor!
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
several inner stalks of celery, plus the leaves (sliced)
32 ounces chicken, beef, or vegetable broth.
2 bay leaves
parmesan rind (optional but good!)
26 ounces of strained or crushed tomatoes (I love Pomi)
12 ounces roasted red peppers
2 carrots (diced)
½ small delicata squash, halved, seeded, and sliced (no need to peel)
1 golden beet, diced or cut in small wedges
2 cups purple and orange cauliflower florets, sliced if large
handful fresh green beans, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, cut in half moons
1 or 2 sliced red jalapeño peppers (or use dried chili flakes to taste, start with 1/2 tsp)
15 ounce can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup cooked small cut pasta such as ditalini
2 handfuls fresh greens, I used baby spinach
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
fresh grated Parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
Add the oil and butter to a large soup pot and sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often. Add the celery and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the broth or stock and bay leaves to the pan.
While the onions etc are cooking puree the tomatoes and the red peppers in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Add the tomato sauce to the pot and stir. Bring the soup up to a simmer, lower the heat, and cook for about 15 minutes.
Add the denser veggies to the pot first, to give them a head start ~ I add the carrots, squash, and beets now. Let them simmer for about 10 minutes.
Next add the cauliflower, beans, zucchini, red peppers (or dried flakes if using) and kidney beans. Cover and simmer until the veggies are tender. If the soup seems too thick, add a little water to thin it down.
Stir in the cooked pasta and then add the greens. Stir them into the soup until they have wilted down.
Remove the cheese rind and the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with cheese and a drizzle of oil, if you like.
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