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Minestrone is an Italian-style soup full of vegetables, beans, and pasta. It is a hearty soup that acts more like a one-pot meal than a soup. My family absolutely loves this minestrone. It is somewhat of a ‘kitchen sink’ soup, in that you can throw in whatever you may have on hand in your refrigerator, such as broccoli, herbs, etc.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow 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 sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 28 ounces canned, no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
  • 48 ounces (6 cups) low sodium vegetable 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
  1. 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.
  2. Add the zucchini, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Divide among individual bowls; garnish each portion with the cheese.

Note: I like to use quinoa or brown rice pasta – small elbows or shells. For the beans, I use Eden Organic’s Aduki Beans.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe in The Washington Post.