Vegetable Minestrone

Needed:

1 large pot or dutch oven

3 tbsp olive oil

1-2 carrots, sliced however you like

1-2 celery stalks sliced

1 small onion chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeño or pablano pepper, something with a little kick.  (You can leave this out if you’re sensitive to spicy food)

2 small tomatoes, chopped

1-2 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

6 cups water or veggie stock

1 16oz can tomato sauce

16 or more oz kidney beans

salt/pepper to taste

1 cup pasta

Directions:  Heat large pan or dutch oven over med/low heat.  Add 3 tbsp olive oil and allow to heat for a couple minutes.  Add carrot, onion and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, add tomatoes and pepper and sauté for another 5 min or so.

Add oregano, basil, salt and pepper and stir for about 2 min.

Add water or veggie broth and simmer on low heat.  (I like to mix 3 cups water and 3 cups veggie broth in an attempt to not make it so salty.)  Add tomato sauce, cover and cook for about 45 min.

Add kidney beans, cover and cook about another 15 min.

After you have cooked on low heat for an hour, check the carrots for tenderness.  (If they are somewhat soft, you’re ready for the next step.  If not, cook covered another 15 or so minutes and check again.  You can also turn up the heat a little if you want to speed the process.)  Taste the soup at this point and decide if you need to add more salt and pepper.

Assuming the veggies are tender and the flavor is to your liking, add pasta and cook another 10 min or so.  Let cool a bit and serve.

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