Summer Garden Minestrone

This summer soup is a family favorite when the garden is abundant with tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and beans. You can make it throughout the year adapting the recipe to whatever produce is available. It takes a bit of time to chop the vegetables but it is worth the effort. I had some grilled cucuzza (an experiment) so I added it to the soup for this photo but if you don’t have it, just use more zucchini. It is delicious eaten fresh and even better the day after you make it.

Summer Minestrone
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
10 c. chicken or vegetable stock or a mix of the two
1-1/2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes
1 c. peeled and cubed eggplant
1 c. cucuzza squash, peeled (optional)
1 c. peeled and cubed zucchini
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 c. fresh corn on the cob
1/4 bunch fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
10 basil leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 c. cut Romano beans or other green beans
1/4 lb. thin spaghetti, broken
1 (15 oz.) can small white beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste

In a 5-quart stockpot, heat oil on medium heat. Add onions and sauté 5 minutes to soften. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add celery and carrot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Add tomatoes, eggplant, cucuzza, zucchini, potatoes, corn, parsley, half of the basil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return to a boil , lower heat slightly, and cover. Cook for 5 minutes. Add green beans and spaghetti. Cook for 10 minutes. Add canned beans and cook 5 more minutes. Taste the spaghetti and potatoes to see if they are cooked through. When ready to serve garnish with remaining basil. Serves 6-8.

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