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Minestrone Soup

This recipe makes a meal complete with grains from the pasta, protein from the beans, and plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fibre from the veggies. Try adding a little sesame tahini to the finished dish to add calcium and a little more protein. As a garnish use a quality Parmesan cheese for additional flavour or substitute nutritional yeast to add B vitamins and many more minerals. 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock 2 14-oz (398-mL) cans crushed tomatoes 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste 1 large potato, skin on and cubed 1 onion, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 2 carrots, chopped 2 to 4 Tbsp (30 to 60 mL) Italian seasoning, fresh or dried 1 14-oz (398-mL) can kidney beans 1 large zucchini, sliced, or 2 cups (500 mL) green beans, chopped 1 cup (250 mL) uncooked whole wheat rotini or shell pasta 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame tahini (optional) Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup (125 ml) Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated In a large soup pot combine vegetable stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, potato, onion, celery, carrot, and Italian seasoning. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in kidney beans, zucchini or green beans, and pasta. Simmer another 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add tahini, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast. Serve with warm crusty peasant bread. Serves 8. Source: alive # 265, November 2004