"This soup is hearty and makes a comforting lunch or dinner on a brisk day," relates Barbara Jellison from Bellevue, Washington. "The spaghetti sauce provides rich flavor without a long simmering time. I further cut the prep time by using my food processor to chop the vegetables.
- 4 bacon strips, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2/3 cup uncooked small shell pasta
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup frozen cut green beans
- Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
- In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings; set bacon aside. In the drippings, saute onion and carrots for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer.
- Stir in the spaghetti sauce, broth and beans. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta, brown sugar, basil and oregano. Cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Add green beans; cook 5 minutes longer or until heated through. Garnish with reserved bacon and Parmesan cheese if desired. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Shortcut Minestrone in Quick Cooking March/April 2004, p39
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