Tuscan Minestrone Soup

Makes 8 cups (2 L)

Tuscany, a region in central Italy, is a charmed land blessed with copious amounts of sunshine. The cuisine from this famed tourist destination incorporates plenty of olives, garlic, tomatoes, cannellini beans (white kidney beans), and herbs that readily grow throughout the region. Although minestrone soups vary from one Italian kitchen to another, the ingredients in this recipe are typical. So that the vegetables cook evenly, it is best to cut pieces of uniform size, such as a 1/3-inch (8 mm) dice. Other varieties of white beans such as navy or great northern beans can be substituted for the cannellini beans in this recipe.

2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (250 mL) diced carrots
1 cup (250 mL) diced celery
1 cup (250 mL) diced potato
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped green beans
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons (10 mL) dried
1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon (5 mL) dried
4 cups (1 L) water
1 cup (250 mL) tomato sauce
1 cup (250 mL) cooked or canned white beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) diced zucchini
Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Cook the onion for 3 to 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, potato, and green beans and cook for 3 minutes. Add the basil, rosemary, water, tomato sauce, white beans, and salt, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are al dente. Add the zucchini. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

Per cup (250 mL): calories: 107, protein: 4 g, fat: 4 g, carbohydrate: 16 g (3 g from sugar), dietary fibre: 4 g, calcium: 50 mg, iron: 2 mg, magnesium: 35 mg, phosphorus: 66 mg, potassium: 512 mg, sodium: 494 mg, zinc: 1 mg, thiamin: 0.1 mg, riboflavin: 0.1 mg, niacin: 2 mg, vitamin B6: 0.2 mg, folate: 42 mcg, pantothenic acid: 0.4 mg, vitamin B12: 0 mcg, vitamin A: 157 mcg, vitamin C: 12 mg, vitamin E: 2 mg, omega-6 fatty acids: 0.4 g, omega-3 fatty acids: 0.1 g

Percentage of calories from protein 14%, fat 30%, carbohydrate 56%