Minestrone [min-eh-STRONE-y] actually means “big soup.” Loaded with good-for-you veggies and beans, just add bread and cheese and you have a whole meal.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 carrots, scrubbed or peeled and halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 (16-oz.) can diced tomatoes, including liquid
- 10 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
- 1⁄2 bunch kale, about 4-5 cups, chopped
- 1⁄3 cup orzo
- 2 cups cooked or canned white or kidney beans, drained and rinsed with cold water
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When it is hot, add the oil, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and basil and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, stock, and kale and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook 1 hour.
Add the orzo and beans and cook until the orzo is tender, about 12 minutes.
Serve right away, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.