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Minestrone

This is an easy recipe for the classic Italian soup, Minestrone. It only takes an hour and will serve 6 people. For more super soup recipes, go to http://food-tales.com/food-inspirations/food-recipes-from-around-the-world/5-sensational-soup-recipes-from-around-the-world

What you’ll need

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large carrot

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/3 pound green beans, cut into ½ inch pieces

28oz can chopped tomatoes

Salt

Ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried basil

6 cups chicken broth

14oz can crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 cup elbow pasta

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

15oz can kidney beans, rinsed

Method

Take a large pot over a medium-high heat and heat the olive oil. Place in the onion and cook until tender for about 4 minutes.

Add in the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Next, put in the carrot and celery and cook until soft  about 5 minutes.

Add the dried oregano, dried basil and green beans plus  teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook for a further 3 minutes.

Pour in both the chopped and crushed tomatoes and the chicken broth. Bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Pour in the kidney beans and the pasta and cook until all the vegetables are softened. This should take about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle in a little more salt to taste. Portion into bowls with a ladle and garnish with chopped basil and parmesan shavings.

Accompaniments

The perfect pairing for this soup is a crunchy Italian bread called Crostini. There are tons of recipes for different crostini toppings but here we’ve gone for herb-tomato crostini as the perfect appetizer or side to your soup.

What you’ll need

2 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ cup olive oil

French bread baguette, cut into ¼ inch thick slices

3 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

½ cup parsley

¾ cup green onion, chopped finely

1 large tomato

1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Method

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the garlic and olive oil then brush onto each slice of bread. Put the slices, garlic side up onto a baking sheet. Cook for about 10 minutes until just toasted.

Take a large bowl and whisk in the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Add the tomato next, which should be finely chopped, then the onions, parsley and fresh mint. Toss to coat all the ingredients.

With this mixture, top each slice of bread and sprinkle with some crumbled feta cheese and you’ll be able to serve a delicious crunchy side to perfectly offset the soup.

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