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hearty minestrone soup

Recipes > Salads+Soups

By: Candice Kumai

WHEN I WAS A LI’L MUNCHKIN, I remember eating minestrone—I still crave that hearty, warm soup—and this homemade version is healthy and satisfying.

serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 large yellow onion, finely diced 5 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 leek, halved, cleaned, and finely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes 8 cups chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans,
rinsed and drained (or 2 cups dried and soaked*)
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups dried and soaked*)
1⁄3 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped on the bias
1 cup pasta (penne, mostaccioli, macaroni, or your favorite) (optional—you can skip the pasta to save calories)
1 tablespoon sea salt, or to taste

1 In a large stockpot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic, celery, and carrots and gently sweat without coloring the vegetables for about 10 minutes.

2 Add the leek and sauté over medium-low heat for an additional 8 minutes, or until softened.

3 Next, pour in the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the kidney and cannellini beans, green beans, and pasta and continue to simmer for 20 min- utes, or until the beans are soft and the pasta is cooked through. Season to taste with sea salt.

If you prefer to add a more robust tomato flavor for your soup, add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or 1⁄4 cup dry red wine to deglaze the pan after sautéing the leeks. I like to top off my soup with 1⁄4 cup of mizuna greens. They add a fabulous pop of color and even more nutrients!

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