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Mama Mia Minestrone

Categories: Make ahead
Type: Soups and Stews

The beauty of minestrone is that it can cook for hours, and its flavor will only deepen. This healthy recipe includes cabbage, carrots, onions, beans, zucchini, and tomatoes.

Serves: 10 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (include the leaves)
  • 4 cups unsalted beef broth or water
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon instant beef bouillon granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 4 ounces elbow macaroni (about 7/8 cup)
  • 1 can (1 pound) cannellini or navy beans, drained
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated nonfat or regular Parmesan cheese (garnish)

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  1. Place the olive oil in a 4-quart pot, and preheat over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and celery, and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  2. Add the broth or water, undrained tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, Italian seasoning, bouillon granules, and pepper to the pot, and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes, or until the vegetables are barely tender.
  3. Add the zucchini, macaroni, and beans to the pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 8 minutes, or until the macaroni is al dente. (Be careful not to overcook, as the pasta will continue to soften in the hot soup.)
  4. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the parsley. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, and serve hot, topping each serving with a rounded teaspoon of the Parmesan cheese.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Best-Kept Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Sandra Woodruff, R.D. Copyright � 2000 by Sandra Woodruff.

To order this book go to www.penguin.com. Get a 15% discount with the coupon code FENPARENT.

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