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South Florida Fall minestrone

You can use any type of canned beans and small pasta shapes in this recipe. Often fresh or canned chopped tomatoes are added, but they are not a requirement.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped

calabasa squash

2 quarts vegetable broth or water

2 cups peeled 1/2-inch cubes

Yukon gold potatoes

3 cups chopped kale, cabbage

or spinach

1 (16-oz.) can cannellini beans or

chick peas, drained well

1 cup cooked pasta such as orzo,

small shells, ditalini or elbows

Salt and fresh-ground black

pepper, to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and oregano. Saute 3 minutes until vegetables are soft.

Add the squash and potatoes and continue to saute 1 minute. Add the broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add the kale, beans and cooked pasta. Simmer another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add basil and serve garnished with parmesan cheese.

If you have questions about a vegetarian ingredient or recipes you would like Steve Petusevsky to make meatless for you, send them to Vegetarian Today, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293. Or send an e-mail with your full name, address and telephone number to dhartz@sun-sentinel.com.

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