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Chunky Minestrone Soup

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This soup isn’t just hearty and healthy — it’s flexible. I love the plethora of colors and textures in each bite from the vegetables and beans, as well as the heartiness of the pasta. I like to use Israeli couscous, because of its compact round shape, but any type of small pasta will do. You can also turn this soup into a complete meal by adding some meat or sausage.

Note: Red wine adds a great depth of flavor, so if you have some leftover wine, this is a great place to use it. (Don’t worry about little children — the alcohol evaporates, so you’re left with just a mild taste.)

Directions

1.

Heat the oil in a large 6-quart soup pot over a medium flame. Add the onion, garlic, zucchini, squash, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 8 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.

2.

Add the red wine and deglaze the pot using a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom to release any bits that are stuck. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

3.

Add the crushed tomatoes, stock, beans, salt, pepper, and oregano. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for at least 25 to 30 minutes.

4.

Ten minutes before serving, add the spinach, parsley, and pasta. Stir well and serve hot.

Tips:

If the soup is too thick, you can add hot water in small increments until it reaches the desired consistency.