Pianeta3 Minestrone

Pianeta3 Minestrone by Chef Franklin Biggs

2 cups onion, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup browned garlic
2 cups red wine
2 cups chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 cup yellow squash chopped
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups cooked white or kidney beans (canned are fine)
1 package frozen spinach, thawed (optional)
To taste balsamic vinegar (optional)
2 cups cooked pasta (such as penne) or croutons
1/2 cup fresh pesto

Saute the onion in a little olive oil.

Add the garlic and deglaze with the red wine.

Add the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, zucchini, yellow squash and red bell pepper. (I keep this mixture on hand already roasted together, as a great ingredient for soups, lasagna, or other vegetarian dishes. It is similar to a ratatouille, except it has no eggplant, and I roast the vegetables instead of sauteeing.)

Simmer briefly and add the chicken stock.

Simmer until all the vegetables are cooked.

Add the cooked beans, thawed spinach, warm through and correct seasoning.

I will often add a splash of balsamic vinegar to sharpen the taste.

Add the cooked pasta or croutons just before serving so they don't get soggy.

I also like to add a spoonful of fresh pesto to each bowl just before serving.