EVL’s Minestrone Soup (Amy Approved!)

I’m always trying to find ways to eat more veggies and my husband is trying to make things taste good. He took this Giada recipe and made it “Amy Approved” by adding lots of veggies.
It’s so yummy, satisfying and great with some crusty bread (wheat is my choice) and a nice glass of red wine!

8 oz. or more of organic grass fed ground beef (you could substitute turkey meet or leave out)
½ to 1 whole sweet onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 zucchini, 1 summer squash, and 4 medium sized mushrooms cut into bite sized pieces
1 large carrot and 1 piece of celery cut into ¼” pieces
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups of good stock, vegetable or chicken
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to finish

• In a large pot, brown ground beef with onion and garlic until no longer pink (I like to salt and pepper a little at this point). Remove from pot.
• In the same pot, heat olive oil to medium high heat and saute vegetables until soft
• Add beef, onion and garlic back to the pot
• Add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, tomato paste and stock to pot and stir to combine.
• When simmering, add Italian seasoning, oregano, and bay leaf and stir.
• Cover and simmer on low for at least 2 hours. Longer is better
• Test taste and salt and pepper as desired
• Serve with Parmesan cheese
• Goes well with a good crusty bread with butter

It makes a lot so you can have leftovers or freeze for later.