Bowl of Minestrone SoupMinestrone means “big soup” in Italian and there are as many variations as there are cooks. I’ve used some of the classic minestrone vegetables, but my friend Elena says don’t hesitate to add any vegetable your heart desires. Serve this with lots of freshly grated parmesan and good hearty bread to build momentum for that next practice or game.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, diced

2 medium carrots, sliced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 medium potato, diced

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoons salt

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup fresh or frozen corn

1 cup green beans, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces

1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)

parmesan cheese

Preparation time: 1 hour Makes 6-8 servings.

In a large soup pot over medium heat add olive oil, butter, garlic and onion. Sauté until onion is soft. Add carrots, celery, potato and sauté about 5 minutes more. Add tomatoes, oregano, salt and chicken broth. Bring heat up to simmer. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Add corn, green beans and kidney beans and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Stir in fresh basil, black pepper to taste and serve with freshly grated parmesan on top.

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