Garden Minestrone Soup

July 13th, 2006

2 tsps olive oil, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 tsps chopped fresh oregano, 4 cloves garlic, 3 cups chopped zucchini, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 cup fresh corn, 4 cups chopped tomato, 3 cans of chicken broth, 1/2 cup uncooked Ditalini pasta (very short tube-shaped macaroni), 1 cup beans, rinsed and drained, 1 pack fresh spinach, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1 cup grated cheese, coarsely ground black pepper (optional).

Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions to the pan and saute for three minutes or until the onions get soft. Add oregano and garlic and saute for one minute.

Stir in zucchini, carrots and corn. Saute for five minutes or until vegetables are tender and remove from the flame. Place three cups tomato and one can broth in a blender; process until smooth. Add the tomato mixture to the pan and return it to the flame. Stir in the remaining one cup tomato and remaining two cans broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes.

Add pasta and beans to the pan; cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from the flame. Stir in spinach, salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Top with cheese and garnish with coarsely ground black pepper, if desired.

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