Vegetable minestrone

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 smalls Leeks; quartered
2 \N Stalks Celery; diced
1 medium Onion; chopped
1½ teaspoon Salt
2 \N Cloves Garlic; minced
2 smalls Zucchini; quartered, then sliced
1 medium Potato; peeled, then diced
8 cups Water
1 cup Elbow or Shell Pasta
8 cups (2 quarts) Swiss Chard leaves; chopped
1 can (16-oz) Chickpeas; drained and rinsed
1 cup Frozen Green Peas; thawed
\N \N Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste
½ cup Parmesan Cheese; freshly grated
¼ cup Fresh Parsley or Basil; chopped

Makes about 12 cups, for 8 Servings With our holiday culinary indulgences packed on our hips and bellies as we closed out 1998, it's time to lighten the fare a bit, so we're offering you 31 days of "Recipe-a-Day~ Light." That's right, we're here to help remove that 5 to 8 pounds we've all managed to pack on during the holidays.

Today's recipe is a tasty vegetable minestrone that contains about 245 calories per serving, with only 1⅗ grams of saturated fat. Remember, light cooking does not have to be light on flavor. Prepare it today and enjoy! In a soup pot or large Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, and onions, and season with a bit of salt (about a half-teaspoon). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini, and potato. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add the water and remaining teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the dry pasta and Swiss chard to the soup and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and green peas, and continue to simmer until the pasta is cooked to the "al dente" stage. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, if desired. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley or basil. Serve immediately.

Posted to dailyrecipe@... by Recipe-a-Day <recipe-a-day@...> on Jan 1, 1999, converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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