Summer Minestrone

Summer Minestrone
A bountiful garden is always a good thing but finding new ways to use up your crops at their peak can be difficult. If your crisper drawer or veggie storage is overflowing try this simple soup to use up your harvest, changing up the vegetables to suit what you have on hand.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 2 c. diced carrots (1/2 inch)
  • 2 c. diced celery (1/2 inch)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 c. chopped zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2-15 oz. cans chopped tomatoes (you can use fresh too!)
  • 6 c. chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15 oz. can white beans, drained
  • 2 c. cooked small pasta (such as elbows or small shells)
  • 1 bunch baby spinach or other green
  • Parmesan cheese and pesto for serving

Directions

Heat 2 T. of olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and thyme; cook until veggies start to soften (about 8 minutes). Add tomatoes and chicken stock, flavor with bay leaf, 2-3 t. kosher salt and 1 1/2 t. fresh ground pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir in squash, beans, cooked pasta and greens. Cook just until heated through and the greens have wilted slightly.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with grated parmesan and a spoonful of pesto for additional flavor.