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Minestrone Soup

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<p>I created this soup after becoming tired of the excess salt and lack of veggies in canned minestrone. I recalled a great bowl of minestrone that was overflowing with rich vegetables at the 'Sheepherder&#8217;s Inn&#8217; in Sacramento, California. Great with a hearty bread, romaine salad and a nice Merlot!&#8221; </p>

Ingredients

3 tablespoonsolive oil
3 clovesgarlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
4 cupstomato sauce
½ cupred wine (optional)
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) cangreen beans
2 cupsbaby spinach, rinsed
3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
½ cupseashell pasta
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping
1 tablespoon olive oil
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

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Directions

<p>1.In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes.</p> <p>2.Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.</p> <p>3.Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.</p> <p>4.Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Spray with olive oil and serve.</p>

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