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Hearty Meatless Minestrone Recipe

Hearty Meatless Minestrone Recipe

A friend gave me this quick, healthy recipe, and it's oh-so-tasty. It makes a big batch and is great for leftovers. To enhance the flavor, add a pound or two of sweet Italian sausage. —Mickey Turner, Grants Pass, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 40 min. YIELD:8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-1/2 cups water
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup small pasta shells
  • Fresh basil leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions

  • 1. In a Dutch oven, saute onion in oil for 2 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, cabbage, green pepper, zucchini and garlic; saute 3 minutes longer. Stir in the water, tomatoes, beans, tomato puree, tomato sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • 2. Stir in pasta; cook 12-15 minutes longer or until tender. Garnish each serving with basil and cheese if desired. Yield: 8 servings (3 quarts).

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cups (calculated without optional ingredients) equals 191 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 664 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 6 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 vegetable, 1 starch, 1 fat.