Although soup isn't the first recipe that comes to mind during the summer. However, my garden is bursting with veggies so soup it is. The best thing about Minestrone is there are no rules. Since I prefer chunky vegetables and pasta (I used lumaca rigata pasta shells) it kind of resembles stew versus soup. Either way, it's delicious.
1 yellow onion, chopped in chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut in 3/4" chunks
2 ribs celery, cut in 3/4" chunks
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 zucchini, thickly sliced
1.5 cups green beans, cut in 1-2" pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
28 oz can diced tomatoes (or 2-15oz cans)
6 cups vegetable broth
1-2 bay leaf
2 cups large sized pasta
15 oz can kidney beans
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
Vegan parmesan cheese(optional)
1. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Saute onion, carrot, celery approximately 7 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, oregano and thyme and continue to cook for another minute to release aromatics.
2. Add diced tomatoes, broth, green beans, salt and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover then decrease heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove lid, add zucchini, pasta and beans. Continue simmering, increasing heat to maintain a low boil uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the the pasta is cooked al dente. Add spinach and continue to cook until bright green and wilted, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice. Remove bay leaf before serving. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan if desired.