Marvelous Minestrone

Marvelous Minestrone

(Serves 4)

The title says it all! A big hit with family, friends, clients, and students.


 2       Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1       cup onion, chopped (1 medium)

2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

1       small jalapeño pepper, minced (for a spicy soup)

½       cup green bell pepper, chopped

½   cup red bell pepper, chopped

3       carrots, chopped

½ cup celery, chopped (2 stalks)

2       bay leaves

1       tsp each of basil and oregano, dried

1       tsp sea salt

¼   tsp black pepper, or to taste

6       cups water, divided

1       cup precooked navy beans

½       cup fresh string beans, chopped

1       small zucchini, chopped

1½ cups tomato sauce or 15 oz can tomato sauce

1       cup elbow macaroni, precooked

½       cup Italian parsley, chopped

Optional: ½ tsp wakame flakes (a sea vegetable found in Asian markets or health food stores.)

1.     In large pot, add oil and sauté onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

2.     Add jalapeño, peppers, carrots, celery, bay leaves, basil, oregano, sea salt, and pepper. Add enough water to the pot so that it will come above the vegetables by two inches. You may add more water later. (See Soup Tips in the beginning of this chapter). Cover, bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Simmer for 5-8 minutes.

3.     Add navy beans, chopped string beans, zucchini, tomato sauce, and wakame flakes if using.  Check for desired thickness of soup before adding more water. Simmer string beans until tender, about 5 minutes.  Adjust the seasoning.  Remove bay leaves and discard.

4.      Place the cooked macaroni in individual bowls.  Ladle soup into bowls.  When storing leftovers, it is a good idea to keep the noodles separate from any soup stock.  This prevents the noodles from becoming too soft from absorbing too much liquid. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.


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