Saturday, December 11, 2010

Easy Minestrone

Tis the season to be on the go: Christmas parties, shopping, work, school activities. Last weekend I turned our kitchen into a bakery, cranking out one loaf of rye bread after another. But while time may be short, and your nerves near the breaking point, you can still make healthy and quick meals. Minestrone is a piece of cake, so to speak, and it's good for you too.

1 leek (or onion)
2 carrots chopped
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
4 oz whole green beans halved
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (14oz) tomatoes
6 cup of vegetable broth
Fresh basil if you have it
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 can of cannellini or kidney beans
1/3 cup of small pasta or maccaroni
Fresh Parmesan cheese, finely grated
garnish with parsley

In a large saucepan add oil and the vegetables, heating them until they sizzle. Cover, lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes. Don't let them burn though.

Add vegetable stock or water, tomatoes, herbs, and seasoning. Bring to a boil, replace the lid and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.

Add the beans and the pasta and simmer for another 10 minutes. Check the seasoning. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley and serve.

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