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Baby it’s cold outside! Warm up with a hearty bowl of minestrone soup that is bursting with healthy veggies.

When the temperatures fall, our kitchens heat up, and soup is the perfect way to warm up. Often, we reach for comfort foods during the cold fall and winter days, and that means casseroles full of canned creamed soups, or heavy pasta bakes. This week make a hearty minestrone soup that will comfort your entire family, without packing on the calories. Lets save that for Thanksgiving next week!!!

Minestrone is a traditional Italian soup that has a mix of veggies and a touch of pasta. My minestrone is brimming with organic veggies from my CSA box from Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Feel free to go back for seconds on this warming soup; it’s yummy and good for you! Bonus is that it gets better with time, so eat it all week!

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Hearty Minestrone Soup

Time: 1hr Serves: 4-6

-3 tbls unsalted butter

-1 tbls olive oil

-1 onion, diced

-1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1in pieces

-2 large carrots, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces

-2 turnips, peeled and diced into 1in pieces

-2 small bell peppers, diced

-6 celery ribs, chopped into ½ in pieces

-3 garlic cloves, finely minced

-salt & pepper

-1tsp red pepper flakes

-1/2 tsp dried rosemary

-1/2 tbls dried Italian seasoning

-2 tbls tomato paste

-6 cups of low sodium chicken broth

-2 cups of water

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1 large zucchini, diced into 1in pieces

-1 bunch of kale, thinly sliced

-1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed

-1 can of cannellini beans

-1/2 lb of dried short pasta (I used shells), cooked and rinsed

-Parmesan cheese for garnish

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Melt butter and olive oil together in a Dutch oven, over medium heat.

Add the onion, red pepper flakes, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are slightly softened. About 7 minutes.

Add the sweet potato, carrot, and turnips. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add the bell pepper and celery. Cook for 5 minutes.

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Add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste. Combine well.

Add the dried rosemary and Italian seasonings. Stir.

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Add the chicken broth, water, and garlic powder. Combine well.

Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.

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Taste for seasoning. Add additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the beans, zucchini, and kale. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

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To serve, place some pasta in a bowl, add a few ladles of soup, and top with a good helping of Parmesan cheese!

Enjoy!

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*Sweet potatoes, turnips, onion, carrots, zucchini, and kale are all from Johnson’s Backyard Garden in Austin, Texas.

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