Minestrone

3 large carrots or a little less than half of a bag of baby carrots
5 stalks of celery
1 large onion
garlic to taste (2-3 cloves chopped fine)
3 T butter, at least
1 can tomato juice, 12 oz can
1 can tomato soup
1 can tomato puree + equal amt of water
1 C orzo pasta, cooked
1/2 C garbanzo beans (buy the small can if you can find it)
1 to 2 zucchini, chunked – i like a lot of zucchini
spinach, fresh – 2 handfuls

Herbs: these are measurements for fresh herbs
1 1/2 – 2 T basil (1 T dried basil)
1 T oregano (1/2 T dried oregano, to taste)
1 T thyme (1/4 tsp dried, ground thyme)

salt & pepper
splash of EVOO

Directions
Chop your veggies and saute in the butter until onions are translucent, then add garlic and saute another minute or two. Add the tomato soup, juice, and puree plus 1 can of water and your herbs. Let soup slow boil until carrots are tender. Add salt, pepper, and garbanzo beans. Add cooked orzo, adjust amount of liquid with water (i always add more), tomato juice or any broth on hand if needed and EVOO; let soup stand 15-20 minutes before serving.

*If you don’t want to cook your orzo separately, add it when you add the tomato juice and add a little more water
*I usually add red beans or lentils as well.
*Works equally well if you throw it all in a pot and let it slow cook for a couple hours.

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