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Minestrone- Eating healthy never tasted so good.

This soup is so comforting and delicious, you won't even notice that you are eating healthy. Slow-cooked for hours, the vegetables almost seem to  melt away. There is nothing better than a home-made soup on a cold winter day. It's  like you are  giving your belly a little hug.


olive oil for sauteing vegetables
1 onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small cabbage, finely chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
7-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
pinch of dried thyme and basil
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 tsp. hot sauce
3 Tbsp. uncooked pearl barley
1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained
fresh spinach, stems removed, and chopped
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
pesto or grated Parmesan, optional

( This makes a HUGE  pot of soup, recipe can easily be cut in half or freeze left-over soup)

In a very large pot, heat olive oil over moderate heat. Add onions, carrots , celery. Saute until tender. Add cabbage, bell pepper, stock, dried seasoning, Worcestershire, hot sauce, diced tomatoes and barley. Adjust seasoning to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to min. and cook for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add chick peas and cook for another hour. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Garnish with grated Parmesan or pesto, if desired.

Tags: Soup, Vegetarian

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