Minestrone Soup

Recipe Description
A hearty healthy soup and one of my family's favorite meals.
If you like to keep it on the stove, I would suggest making the pasta separately and adding it to the individual serving bowls, to keep the pasta from getting too soft.
It makes quite a bit but it freezes nicely and the leftovers the next day taste even better.
Preparation Steps:Level of Difficulty:
Time Needed:
1.5 hours
4 tablespoons. olive oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 onions chopped
2 cups chopped celery
4 carrots sliced thinly
2 small zucchini chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans
2 cups fresh spinach or 1 10 ounce box frozen
2 cans white northern beans
2 cans chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoon dried
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of small pasta
In a 4 quart stockpot over medium heat add the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes.
Add chicken broth, water, tomato sauce and tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, add the remaining vegetables and spices. Simmer 45 minutes, add pasta, cook for and additional 10 minutes and serve.

Simmer as long a you like before adding the pasta I have let it go for a couple of hours and it only doesn't hurt it one bit.