PREP: 30 minutes | COOK: 40 minutes | YIELD: 10 x 1½-cup servings

If there is one soup my family would reach for more than any other, this would be it! My kids, who are all in their 20 s, still love the pasta shapes that make an appearance, but they also appreciate the variety of veggies a little more now.

1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled, trimmed and finely chopped

½ tsp (2.5 ml) each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup (60 ml) dry red wine (optional)

4 cups (950 ml) low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups (480 ml) water

1 tsp (5 ml) dried Italian herbs

1 x 8-oz (240 ml) jar roasted bell peppers, drained and finely chopped

2 cups cooked or 1 x 15-oz (440 ml) BPA-free can no-salt-added diced tomatoes plus juice

2 cups cooked or 1 x 15-oz (440 ml) BPA-free can no-salt-added kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups cooked or 1 x 15-oz (445 ml) BPA-free can no-salt-added great northern white beans, white kidney beans, or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and diced

1 cup (240 ml) trimmed fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 bay leaves

2 Tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley

2 cups (480 ml) small-size whole grain pasta such as shells, elbow macaroni or petite penne, cooked al dente

4 cups (950 ml) baby spinach, lightly packed

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven on medium. Add onion, carrot, salt and pepper, and cook until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook about 1 minute longer. Add red wine and scrape up any crusty bits that might have formed on bottom of pot.

Add remaining ingredients up to, but not including, pasta. Increase heat to bring soup to a boil, then partially cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Uncover, remove bay leaves and stir in spinach. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cooked pasta.

PREP TIP

If you are serving all of the soup at once, you can stir the cooked pasta into the pot. If you are planning for leftovers, keep the pasta separate and stir it into each batch as you heat it up. This will prevent the pasta from getting mushy.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE PER SERVING:

Calories: 264 | Calories from Fat: 21 | Protein: 12 g | Carbs: 46 g | Total Fat: 2 g | Saturated Fat: 0.3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Fiber: 10 g | Sodium: 362 mg | Cholesterol: 0 mg