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Minestrone with fresh basil and grilled ciabatta

Vegetarian, Soy-Free

4 Servings, 620 Calories/Serving

30 – 40 Minutes

In our spin on the vegetarian Italian pasta dish, hearty kidney beans and seasonal vegetables make this recipe as healthy as it is tasty.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces pasta shells
  • 2 or 3 zucchini (about 18 ounces total)
  • 3 or 4 celery ribs
  • 2 or 3 shallots
  • 1 or 2 cloves peeled fresh garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans
  • 5 or 6 sprigs fresh basil
  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan

Chef's Tip

To make this in even less time, in Step 2, start cooking the zucchini while you prep the celery, shallots, and garlic.

Instructions

1

Cook the pasta shells

Bring a large sauce pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta shells and cook until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While the water heats and the pasta shells cook, prepare the minestrone.

2

Start prepping the ingredients; cook the zucchini

  • Trim the ends from the zucchini; cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ½-inch-thick half-moons.
  • Trim the ends from the celery; thinly slice the celery.
  • Peel and thinly slice enough shallots to measure ¼ cup.
  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
  • Strip the thyme leaves from the stems.
In another large sauce pot over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and cook on one side without stirring until browned and starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Do not clean the pot.

3

Start the minestrone

In the same pot used for the zucchini, if dry, add 1 tablespoon oil; warm over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Stir in the celery, shallots, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until just starting to darken, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme, and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to soften, 1 to 2 minutes.
While the soup comes to a boil, prepare the kidney beans and basil.

4

Prep the remaining ingredients; finish the minestrone

  • Rinse the kidney beans.
  • Strip the basil leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves. Set aside half for garnish.
Stir the beans, zucchini, pasta shells, and half the basil into the minestrone and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the minestrone cooks, prepare the ciabatta.

5

Toast the ciabatta

  • Cut the ciabatta in half lengthwise; drizzle the cut sides with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt.
Heat a large grill pan or frying pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches if needed, place the ciabatta, cut sides down, and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Cut the ciabatta halves into 4 to 6 pieces.

6

Serve

Transfer the minestrone to individual bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining basil and serve with the ciabatta.

Kids Can!

  • Press the garlic (if you have a press).
  • Measure out the shallots and garlic.
  • Prep the thyme and basil leaves.
  • Rinse the kidney beans.
  • Sprinkle the minestrone with Parmesan and basil.

Nutrition per serving: Protein: 26g (52% DV), Fiber: 17g (68% DV), Total Fat: 17g (26% DV), Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.5g, Saturated Fat: 4g (20% DV), Cholesterol: 10mg (3% DV), Sodium: 710mg (30% DV), Carbohydrates: 95g (32% DV), Total Sugars: 12g, Added Sugars: 0g (0% DV). Not a significant source of trans fat.
Contains: Milk, wheat.

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