Minestrone

This is my favorite “save my butt in an emergency” recipe. You can leave out some of the vegetables or substitute what you have on hand. I once even made it with canned carrots and canned mushrooms (it was not my boat, the cans were in the bilge, and we were in a desperate situation).

The must-have ingredients are the beans, tomatoes, at least 3 other vegetables, garlic, oregano, and macaroni. Otherwise, play around with it.

3 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 large carrots, diced
1 small potato, diced (optional)
1 C frozen peas
1 can garbanzo beans or kidney beans
1 C chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 T salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 t oregano
2 t basil
28-oz can chopped tomatoes (not drained)
3 C water or stock (can use bouillon cubes)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C dry macaroni
Splash of red wine
Fresh grated parmesan

In a large dutch oven, saute the onion, celery, and bell pepper in the oil until soft. Stir in the carrot, optional potato, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano, 1/2 C of parsley, and basil, saute for another minute, then add the tomatoes, stock, and beans (you may drain them or not, your choice). Simmer until the carrots are tender. Add the macaroni, peas, wine, and garlic and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the macaroni is cooked. Adjust the salt to taste.

Serve garnished with parsley and parmesan and sprinkle cracked black pepper over the top.

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