(c) A Marcy Goldman, BetterBaking.Com Original Recipe

Little Italy Classic Minestrone Soup

A zesty broth, filled with nice chunks of eggplant and other good things. Spicy and hearty - perfect anytime but especially in cold weather. My best tip in soup making is to use spring water (why not have things pure and chemical free?) and kosher or sea salt. This is rib-sticking soup with flavor that won't let up until the last spoonful. Btw, you could add some kale or baby spinach to this if you like but I don't believe you have to add kale to everything :).

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium garlic cloves - crushed
1/3 cup diced onions
1 cup copped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups diced eggplant, skinned (unless skins are very thin/tender)
16 cups water
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup mixed dried beans (white pinto beans, romano, kidney, fava, pinto, cranberry, etc.)
1/4 cup dried lentils
1/4 cup dried peas
1 1/2 tablespoons salt (to taste)
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dry basil
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dry chili pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons red wine, optional
2 cups cooked pasta, any shape

Lightly grease stock pot bottom to prevent beans from sticking. Add olive and vegetable oil and saute or sweat vegetables (garlic, onions, carrots, celery, eggplant) on low-medium heat until softened. Add water, tomatoes, beans, lentils, peas, salt, sugar, pepper, garlic powder, basil, celery seed, fresh basil, parsley, chili pepper, balsamic vinegar and red wine.

Simmer 2 to 3 hours (until beans are soft). Adjust seasonings. Add pasta a few minutes before serving.

Serve with Italian bread, fresh grated parmasean.
10-12 servings, freezes well

© This is a Marcy Goldman/BetterBaking.com original recipe
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