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Marvellous Minestrone

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    Marvellous Minestrone

    This is a quick and easy all-in-one meal soup. It’s packed with outstanding veggies such as tomatoes, carrots, onions, and kale, plus whole grain pasta, extra-virgin olive oil, and cholesterol-lowering beans. I made this on TV one morning and the crew gobbled it up. A true testimonial to eating beans at 8 am, it was either delicious or the crew members were out of their minds. I’m going with delicious. Serve with whole grain bread, if desired.

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    1 Tbsp + 1 tsp (20 mL) cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large onion, diced
    2 large carrots, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 - 28 oz (796 mL) can diced tomatoes
    1 - 19 oz (540 mL) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
    1 1/2 (375 mL) cups water
    4 cups (1 L) kale or spinach, chopped
    1/4 cup (60 mL) whole grain rotini
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) red pepper flakes
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh basil, chopped
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar (optional)
    1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese (optional)

    Heat a large pot over medium heat; add oil and onion, and sauté until almost cooked, approximately 5 minutes, stirring often.

    Add carrots and garlic; sauté for 3 minutes, stirring often.

    Add tomatoes, beans, chicken stock, and water. Bring to boil.

    Add kale, whole grain rotini, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Bring back to boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until pasta is cooked.

    Add basil and balsamic vinegar, if using, stir, and serve. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

    Makes 10 cups (2.5 L) or 6 - 1 1/2 cup (375 mL) servings.

    Each 1 1/2 cup (375 mL) serving contains:

    210 calories; 10 g protein; 4 g total fat (0.5 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat); 33 g carbohydrates; 10 g fibre; 490 mg sodium

    Cooking tip

    Adding the balsamic vinegar really gives the soup a great zip.

    Kid-friendly tip

    Skip the pepper and the red pepper flakes. Add them to your portion when serving. Sprinkle theirs with a bit more cheese.

    source: "What happened to lunch?", from alive #317, March 2009

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    Marvellous Minestrone

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