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Old 11-15-2006, 06:52 AM
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Thumbs up Minestrone Soup

I made this for dinner last night...

It's hard to make a mistake when making minestrone


Thursday, November 09, 2006 Associated Press


Never mind that hearty vegetable soups are great for warming up during this increasingly chilly time of year. Or that they can pack tons of healthful produce and beans into a lean, savory package.
The real strength of soups such as this minestrone from Nava Atlas' "Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons" is that they are so easy to make and so hard to mess up.
Soups are among the most forgiving of foods, readily accepting just about anything you care to toss in and delivering a hearty, satisfying meal layered with complex flavors.


***Though delicious as written, this minestrone is easily adapted to whatever is on hand. No potatoes? Try sweet potatoes. Or turnip or squash. And kidney or navy or even black soy beans would stand in nicely for the chickpeas. ***

Minestrone Soup


Makes 8 servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
Handful of celery leaves, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
16-ounce can salt-free diced toma toes (not drained)
1 cup salt-free tomato sauce
¾ cup dry red wine (optional)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preparation: In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-low heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to saute until both are golden.
Add the carrots, celery and leaves, and potatoes. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients. Stir in the to matoes, tomato sauce, wine (if us ing), bay leaves and Italian season ing. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover, lower heat to simmer and cook 20 to 25 minutes, or until vege tables are just tender.
Add the chickpeas, peas and parsley. Add water if soup has become too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer another 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are completely tender.
Presentation: Discard bay leaves and serve.
Nutrition information per serving: calories, 130; protein, 5 grams; fat, 3 grams; carbohydrates, 24 grams; sodium, 190 milligrams; fiber, 6 grams.
Source: Recipe from Nava Atlas' "Veg etarian Soups for All Seasons," Am berwood Press, 2006, $15.95.
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