Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup is a healthy substitute for macaroni fix. A lot of vegetables, a lot of broth and the carrot at the end of the tunnel, yummy elbow macaroni.


1/2 cup of olive oil
3 bay leaves
2 carrots, chopped
2 large ribs of celery, chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 bulb of fennel, chopped
1 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped

1 15-ounces can cannellini or white kidney beans
1 bunch of chard, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 bunch Tuscan kale, rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 large potato, chopped
1 cup slow roasted tomatoes or 8 ounces chopped tomatoes packaged in a jar or box
1 quart vegetable soup stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 cup elbow macaroni

Add the olive oil to a large heated stock pan set to medium-high heat. Drop a piece of onion in the oil. Add the bay leaves, carrots, celery, fennel seeds, fresh fennel, green beans, jalapeño pepper and remaining onion when the onion sizzles. Stir to cover the vegetables with the oil. Cook, stirring often, until golden about 5 minutes.

Add the beans, chard, kale, potato, tomatoes and vegetable soup stock or water. Season with pepper and salt. Cook for one hour. Add 1/2 cup of macaroni. Cook for 7 minutes or follow the directions on the pasta label then turn off the stove.

Top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Serve immediately.
Package in pint or quart-sized containers and freeze all leftovers.