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Spring Minestrone

Makes 8 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

4cloves garlic, minced

6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup small pasta (ditalini, orzo, or shells)

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

½ bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup shelled peas (fresh or frozen)

1 cup chopped zucchini

2 cups loosely packed baby spinach 

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more until fragrant.

Add the vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the pasta and cannellini beans. Cook according to the pasta package directions or until al dente.

Stir in the asparagus, peas, and zucchini. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the spinach, Parmesan cheese, and basil. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.

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