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Heart Healthy Minestrone

You might have some vegetables left over from your garden that you didn’t get to cook last season. Well, Chef Walter Staib shows you how to make a heart healthy soup with some of those unused veggies.

Heart Healthy Minestrone
By Walter Staib

Serves 10
4 slices stale bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, mashed
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped garlic
1 small yellow onion, diced
½ pound green beans, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small head broccoli, stemmed and chopped
1 small head cauliflower, stemmed and chopped
2 small Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup tomato paste
1 gallon reduced-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
10 teaspoons parmesan cheese to garnish

To Make Croutons:
1. Cut bread into ½ inch cubes. Stale bread works best.
2. Pour oil into a nonstick pan and heat over medium-high heat.
3. Mix bread cubes with the seasonings and add to pan.
4. Saute cubes, stirring frequently and shaking the pan, until the cubes are golden brown.
5. Remove and discard the garlic.

To Make the Soup:
1. In a large stockpot, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat and add the garlic, cooking until light
brown. Add the onions and cook until translucent.
2. Toss in the green beans, broccoli and cauliflower and cook until just al dente. Add the tomato paste and chicken stock, stirring until the tomato paste is incorporated.
3. Sprinkle in the herbs and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove the bay leaf and season with pepper. Transfer to a large tureen or divide among individual bowls. Garnish each portion with 2-3 tablespoons croutons and 1 level teaspoon parmesan cheese.

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