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Classic Minestrone Soup
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add diced onions, celery and carrots and garlic. Sauté on medium heat until the onions are golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add bay leaf and thyme and give it a good one-minute stir! Add zucchini, potatoes, Savoy cabbage, Parmesan rind and tomatoes and optional red pepper flakes. Stir. Add beef broth, stir and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about an hour. When the veggies are soft, add the Northern White or Cannelini beans and uncooked pasta. Simmer for about 10-12 minutes or until pasta is done. Don’t overcook pasta. Right before serving, season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with your homemade croutons and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. HOMEMADE CROUTONS Ingredients: 3-4 cups bread cubes (stale or leftover bread works well) 2 tablespoons melted butter 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon garlic salt ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper Directions: Mix together melted butter and olive oil. Pour over bread cubes. Sprinkle in garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss well. Spread the bread cubes onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 or 15 minutes or until the cubes are golden brown.