- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 7 medium carrots, chopped
- 7 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 yellow summer squash (about 3 cups), chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained, divided
- 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 2 cartons (32 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup uncooked ditalini or other small pasta
- 12 cups chopped fresh spinach (12 ounces)
- In a 6-quart stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion; cook until tender, 6-8 minutes. Add zucchini, yellow squash and seasonings; cook and stir until squashes are crisp-tender, 4-6 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
- Mash 1/2 cup beans with a fork. Stir mashed beans and tomatoes into vegetables. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10-12 minutes.
- Stir in pasta and remaining beans; return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, 7-9 minutes or just until pasta is tender. Discard bay leaves. Stir in spinach; cook until spinach is wilted. Yield: 10 servings (about 4 quarts).
Reviews for Garden Minestrone
"Simply lovely. Full of colour and loaded with healthy veggies. Full disclosure: I couldn't find any other variety of summer squash other than zucchini, so it's not in there (but with 3 zucchini and 3 cups of more squash-type vegetables, I'm sort of glad I didn't because it wouldn't have been too much squash); I couldn't find any dried sage so I put a bit of ground sage in; I used veggie broth - not chicken; and I used a can of diced tomatoes instead of crushed because I like to try to use up what I have in my cupboard and not buy stuff if I don't need to. At the end, it's a very, very nice minestrone. I think it could use more spices of some sort, the quantities are pretty small but I'm sure you could add more after it's in your bowl. But it's healthy, vegetarian, and I'm all for that!"