Family Favorite Minestrone
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced (1/2 cup)
1 large carrot, scrubbed well, then diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
28 ounces canned, no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
48 ounces (6 cups) no-salt-added vegetable broth or chicken broth
15 ounces canned, no-salt-added small red beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dried, whole-grain elbow pasta
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften.
Add the zucchini, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, then add the beans and pasta.
Uncover; increase the heat to medium-high just long enough to return the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pasta and vegetables are tender.
Divide among individual bowls; garnish each portion with the cheese.
I’ve only eaten Minestrone a few times, and that was canned. This recipe was so much better. I loved it. It was easy to make and didn’t take much time and it tasted so good! The next time I make it I think I’ll add garbanzo beans, corn and baby spinach. We had a French Baguette (you can see it in the first photo behind all the ingredients) to go with it and it was a very satisfying meal. I took the photo before adding the cheese, just so you could get a good look at the soup. I adjusted the recipe a bit by adding 2 cans of un-rinsed beans instead of one rinsed (I added the other can after the picture), and used plain Parmesan cheese. Also, I was going to use vegetable broth but the store only had chicken and beef with no-salt added.