Recipe of the Week: Italian Bean Soup, by L.H.

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This is a favorite soup of ours. It’s hearty, healthy, and perfect for a cold winter’s day. It is also a wonderful way to slip some healthy spinach into the diets of those in your family who think they don’t like it; they’ll never taste that it’s there.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) cannellini beans (or any white beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • ½ – 1 c. cooked, diced ham
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 c. thinly-shredded cabbage
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) chicken broth
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch half-rounds
  • 2 c. fresh spinach, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. black pepper

Directions:

Place one can of the beans on a plate and mash with a fork to a mush; set aside. In soup pot heat oil and sauté ham, celery, carrots, onion, and cabbage over medium heat till crisp-tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, zucchini, spinach, basil, pepper, and the mashed beans. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in remaining can of beans and heat another 5 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

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