Spring 2008: Recipe-Winter Minestrone

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(c/o CookingLight Magazine, January/February 2008)
Prep all the vegetables a day ahead, and this soup will come together quickly just before guests arrive. Goes well with whole-wheat breadsticks or rolls.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups cubed peeled acorn or butternut squash (about 1 medium)-can substitute with same amount of red potatoes, cubed
3/4 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup diced fennel
1 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
5 tablespoons no-salt added tomato paste
1/4 cup uncooked ditalini (very short tube-shaped pasta)

2 1/2 cups chopped Swiss chard
1/2 cup rinsed and drained canned Great Northern Beans
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion, basil, oregano, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add squash/potatoes and next 3 ingredients (through fennel); sauté 5 minutes. Stir in one cup water, broth, and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in pasta; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chard; cook 3 minutes, Add beans; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pepper. Serve with cheese sprinkled on top.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup minestrone and 1 teaspoon cheese)
Calories: 102 (22% from fat) Carb: 16.7 Calcium: 71mg
Fat: 2.5 (sat 0.7g, mono 1.4g, poly 0.2g) Fiber: 3.6g
Protein: 4.5g Chol: 2mg Iron: 1.6mg Sodium: 263mg