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Vegetarian Minestrone

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2 stalks celery
1 large carrot
1 potato
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow summer squash
1 large Spanish onion
1Tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, washed twice thoroughly, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
3 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp.dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2 quarts vegetable stock or water
1 can (30 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked pasta (any small shape, such as ditalini)
1 can (12 ounces) red kidney or white cannelini beans
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/2 recipe Pesto Sauce , vegan pesto (no cheese), or store-bought pesto
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Cut celery, carrot, potato, zucchini, yellow squash, and onion into medium (1/4-inch) dice. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil 1 minute. Add all diced vegetables, leeks, garlic, salt, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until onions turn translucent. Add stock and tomatoes. Bring to a full boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes, until potato is cooked through and tender.
2. Add cooked pasta and beans. Bring back to a boil for 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Serve in bowls, topped with a teaspoon of pesto. Pass grated Parmesan cheese at the table, if desired.

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Vegetarian Minestrone Recipe