One last stew to send out winter! This stew is not for those who dislike vegetables. Minestrone is Italian for "one with many ingredients". But don't let the ingredient list scare you!
It's really easy! The flavors of all of these veggies combine into absolute perfection in a minestrone. I call it a stew because of the large chunks of veggies (~1" cubes). I matched the size of my veggies with a larger pasta so that everything blended nicely. I used gnocchi shells (durum wheat pasta shells, not potato), but you could use penne, rotini, or another larger pasta.
12 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2- 14oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice
3 garlic cloves, pressed and finely minced
2 medium zucchini, cubed
2 medium yellow squash, cubed
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
8 medium white mushrooms, stemmed and cubed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, sliced
2 cups baby spinach leaves, stemmed
1- 14oz can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb package pasta of your choice (I used gnocchi shells- not potato), prepared al dente
3 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
3 large fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp celery salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine zucchini, squash, onion, sage, garlic, and mushrooms in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Place vegetable chunks onto a large baking sheet and bake for ~12-15 minutes, until softened. Remove from oven and place back into large bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and set aside.
On the stovetop in a large nonstick skillet, add celery and carrots. Saute over medium heat until softened. Add spinach leaves and continue to saute until leaves have wilted. Add softened celery, carrots and spinach to a large stock pot and add broth, canned tomatoes, beans, basil, red pepper, black pepper, rosemary, and celery salt. Bring to a boil, then add zucchini mixture and reduce to a simmer. Heat through for 5 minutes, add cooked pasta, then serve immediately.
Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cup serving: 309 calories, 2 g fat, 13 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber