PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rania Harris, of Rania’s Catering, is in the Pittsburgh Today Live kitchen making Italian Minestrone Soup, perfect for these last days of winter!

Italian Minestrone Soup

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Ingredients:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 zucchini or yellow squash, diced
1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, if needed
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon rosemary
1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
6 cups broth (vegetable or chicken broth)
1-inch Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 to 3 springs fresh thyme
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
Large handful chopped parsley
Handful fresh basil leaves
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
2 cups already cooked small pasta such as ditalini or elbow pasta

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven or cooking pot, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add onions, carrots and celery. Raise heat to medium-high, if you need to, and cook, tossing regularly, until the veggies soften a bit (about 5 minutes or so). Add garlic and cook another minute or so.

Add yellow squash (or zucchini) and green beans. Season with paprika, rosemary, and a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Now add crush tomatoes, broth, fresh thyme, bay leaf and Parmesan rind (if using.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and partially cover the pot. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Uncover and add kidney beans. Cook for another 5 minutes. Finally, Stir in parsley and fresh basil. And, if serving immediately, stir in the cooked pasta and simmer ever so briefly till the pasta is warmed through; do not overcook.

Remove cheese rind and bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve minestrone hot in dinner bowls with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan (optional.)

Serves: 6