I'm not a big fan of soup, usually, unless it resembles stew. It seems like kind of a rip-off as far as meals go.
But! I made some minestrone a couple weeks ago because it was such an efficient way to get large quantities of vegetables into my family. And it was delicious! And it was even MORE delicious heated up for lunch the next day! I will definitely make it again.
There is a lot of chopping prep, but that's kind of fun if your knife is sharp and you're not in a hurry.
I used Ellie Krieger's recipe that was in the January issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I forgot to grab low-sodium broth (I used vegetable), so I just omitted the teaspoon of salt when I made it and it didn't taste too salty or too bland to me. Here it is:
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced (1/2 cup)
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini (about 8 oz.), diced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth (48 oz.)
1 28-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 14-oz. can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
1 15-oz. can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. whole grain elbow pasta
1/3 c. finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley leaves
1. In large soup pot over medium-high heat cook and stir onion in hot oil 4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds. Add celery and carrot. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften. Add zucchini, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the broth and the diced and crushed tomatoes. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the beans and pasta. Cook 10 to 15 minutes more or until pasta and vegetables are tender. Top servings with cheese and parsley. Makes 6 servings.