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Hearty Vegetable Minestrone Soup
Hearty Vegetable Minestrone Soup
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut small
  • 1/2 small cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup cauliflower cut into small piece
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken stock, homemade, or store bought organic chicken broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white navy beans, or cannellini
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked small tube, shell-shaped pasta, orzo, or your favorite small pasta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 4 sprigs fresh basil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Reduced Balsamic Syrup for drizzling (optional)

Directions:
1. Heat a large stockpot over medium-heat.

2. Add the olive oil and heat until hot.

3. Quickly add the onion, and saute for 5 minutes, until the onion starts to caramelize.

4. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

5. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute; then add the water and stir.

6. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli florets, cabbage, cauliflower, and salt.

7. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to release their juices.

8. Add the canned tomatoes and chicken stock.

9. Bring to a gentle boil.

10. Add the beans and stir.

11. Cover and gently simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.

12. In a blender, in batches, puree three-quarters of the soup until semi-smooth.

13. Pour back into the stockpot and stir well.

14. This will thicken your soup.

15. Adjust the seasoning (taste for salt; you will probably need to add more - 1/4 teaspoon at a time, so you don't over-salt).

17. Bring the soup back up to a gentle boil.

18. Add the pasta and stir well so the pasta doesn't stick.

19. Cook the pasta for about 5 minutes or until al dente.

20. You don't want to overcook the pasta. 21. Ladle into heated bowls.

22. Garnish with 2 tablespoons freshly grated cheese per serving, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes to taste.

23. Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil and balsamic syrup over the top (optional).

Try more of Cristina's recipes here: www.cristinaferrarecooks.com.