One of my wonderful online friends shared this recipe with me, and it has become a favorite in our house. I used to make this at least once a week, but I found that it freezes very well, so I started making it once a month and freezing it for later. This soup is great on a cold winter day and is wonderful with or without pasta.
Hearty Minestrone Soup
3 tbsp. olive oil 3 cloves of garlic, minced 2 medium yellow onions - chopped 2 cups celery - chopped 5 carrots - sliced 2 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock if you'd like to make a vegetarian version) 2 cups water 4 cups tomato sauce 1 can kidney beans - drained. 1 can green beans (15 oz) 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped 3 zucchini - half moon, thin slices 1 tsp dried oregano 2 tbsp dried basil 1/2 box of small shell pasta (optional) 1/4 cup grated parmesan
Directions: Saute oil, garlic, and onion (4-5 minutes); add celery and carrots (2 minutes). Add stock, water, and tomato sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce to low; add kidney beans, green beans, spinach, zucchini, oregano, dash of salt (maybe a teaspoon) and dash of pepper.
Simmer 30-40 minutes.
Boil pasta separately. (This keeps the pasta from getting water logged and soggy.)
Place cooked pasta in bowls. Pour soup over pasta, and sprinkle with grated parmesan.