Tasty Tuesday

October 2010, I started my journey to vegetarianism. I’m still not there yet, but very close. Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes are norms in my family so I decided I needed to do all I could to prevent myself from going down the same path. In October I eliminated red meat from my diet; November I eliminated pork; December I eliminated poultry. I think using this 30 day elimination approach helped me transition.  I still eat dairy, eggs and seafood, (I just can’t seem to let go of that seafood), but not in large quantities. I really focused on increasing my intake of vegetables, beans, lentils and nuts and I don’t eat much bread and pasta. I’m always looking for great recipes that incorporate plenty of vegetables and beans and came across a Minestrone Soup recipe that I worked and re-worked until I got it just right (at least in my opinion). 🙂

Minestrone Soup
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 minced white onion
1 chopped zucchini
1 minced celery stalk
4-6 cloves of minced garlic
1 carton of vegetable broth (4 cups)
1 c red wine
1 or 2 – 15oz cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I used 1; use 2 for heartier soup)
1 or 2 – 15oz cans small white or great northern beans, rinsed and drained (I used 1; use 2 for heartier soup)
1 – 14oz can diced tomatoes
½ c julienne carrots
4 c hot water
3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp course ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
4 c fresh baby spinach or swiss chard (I used swiss chard)
½ c small shell pasta

Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in large pot. Sauté onion, celery, zucchini in oil for 5 minutes until onions translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and wine to pot. Stir in tomatoes, carrots, beans, hot water and spices. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add chard/spinach and pasta. Cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

Yields about 12 servings
~McKinzie Manor~

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