Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

This Italian-style soup, chock-full of vegetables, beans and pasta in a tomato-y broth, is sure to become a staple in your home. It has a crowd-pleasing appeal, is easy to whip up and makes for a convenient, filling, flavorful meal that is packed with nutrition.

Feel free to change the vegetables and herbs to use up those you happen to have on hand.

Make Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large 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 kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
28 ounces canned, no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
48 ounces (6 cups) no-salt-added vegetable broth or chicken 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

Directions

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.

Add the zucchini, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. 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.

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.

Divide among individual bowls; garnish each portion with the cheese.

Makes 6 servings; makes 11 1/2 to 12 cups

Per serving: Calories 220; Total Fat 5g; (Sat Fat 1g); Protein 9g; Carb 35g; Fiber 11g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 380mg, Sugar 13g

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