Soup’s on! One of my favorite things to enjoy on a cold winter day is a bowl of piping hot soup. There’s something so therapeutic about diving into a savory bowl of warm salty liquid that sooths the body and calms the soul. Let’s not forget the immediate comfort we get from a bowl of chicken noodle soup when we feel down and out with a scratchy throat and stuffed up nose from a nagging winter cold. With so many delicious options to indulge in I try to stay on the healthy side and usually choose a broth based version with lots of veggies and try (not always . . . a girls gotta have a little food fun) to avoid those yummy calorie loaded cream based soups. Maybe, just maybe, by my premature winter soup post, I can conjure up a cold front and soon we can all sit at our kitchen tables and enjoy the warmth and comfort of a delicious bowl of soup! I’m sharing with you one of my house favorites, sure to be one of yours too!

Green Minestrone

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ lbs of prosciutto, chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2 ribs of celery sliced
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 medium zucchini
1 bay leaf
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of mini penne pasta
8 cups of chicken broth or stock
½ lb green beans trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
10 ounces of spinach, stems removed, chopped
16 leaves of fresh basil
grated parmesan
Salt, pepper

In a large soup pot add olive oil and prosciutto and sauté for 2 minutes on medium high heat. Next add onions, celery, garlic, zucchini and bay leaf to the pot and continue to sauté about 5 minutes stirring frequently and season with salt and pepper. Add white beans, garbanzo beans and chicken broth to the pot. Cover soup and bring to a boil. Add pasta and green beans and cook for 8 min or until pasta is tender, reduce heat. Stir in spinach to wilt, 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls and top with parmesan cheese and shredded basil.