The truth is that the can of Garbanzo beans sitting in my pantry shelf badly needed an awakening. But for those of us(like me) who have been indulging in fatty foods for the last two weeks & need a summer cleansing/detox, here's an "early bird special" with loads of veggies like zuchini, carrots, celery, spinach and zuchini. Besides, the weather being intermittently cold, rainy and sometimes warm, I was craving a bowl of good old soup. All excuses aside, this week is considered World Vegetarian Week and so here's my take on a soup from Ellie Kreiger's Minestrone. A bowl of vivid colors from the veggies and tomato broth ...a heaping spoonful as tasty as it is healthy and should keep the "Doctor away"!!
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 8oz box of frozen Spinach
1 zuchinni cut up
1/2 cup dried pasta
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 28-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 Tblspn Tomato paste
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste saute for 1 minute.
3. Add the celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green beans, dried oregano and basil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook 3 more minutes. Add the spinach
4. Add the diced tomatoes and the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.
5. Stir in the beans and cook vegetables are tender then add pasta and zuchini, cook for about
10 minutes. Season with salt. Ladle into bowls and top with the parmesan and chopped basil.