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Minestrone Soup

Serves: 6 

Ingredients

½ cup dried navy, great northern or cannellini beans – soaked overnight
½ pound onions – diced
2 cloves garlic – chopped
¼ bunch celery – chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil – to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano – to taste
½ teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried parsley 
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ pound carrots – chopped
1 28oz can diced tomatoes – with juice
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ pound frozen peas
⅓ pound pasta – spiral 3-color 

Preparation

1. Drain soaked beans. Place in pot, cover well with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until firm but tender. Stir occasionally, skim froth from top and add more hot water if needed. 
2. Heat oil in a large pot and add diced onions, minced garlic and chopped celery. Sauté until onions are soft. 
3. Add basil, oregano, sage, parsley and marjoram to the onion mix and continue sautéing for a few more minutes until fragrant.
4. Add carrots and cover with water. Bring pot to a boil and simmer until carrots are just tender.
5. While the carrots are cooking, cook pasta, cool and set aside. 
6. When carrots are almost done, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and cooked beans to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are very tender and easily pierced with a paring knife.
7. Add peas 10 minutes before serving so they retain their color. Season soup to taste.
8. Add the pasta to the simmering soup shortly before serving so that it doesn’t become too soft and fall apart. 
9. Serve with grated romano or parmesan cheese.
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