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Mike's Minestrone (1/12/2007)



3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini-quartered and sliced
1 cup frozen cut green beans
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 teaspoons garlic, minced
5 cups vegetable broth (3 14 oz. Cans)
2 15 oz. Cans red kidney beans, drained
2 15 oz. Cans white beans (like navy), drained
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 Bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups hot water
4 cups fresh spinach, baby spinach works great
1 cup small shell pasta
shredded or grated fresh parmesan cheese for garnish

1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, bay leaf and spices. Cover.
4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove Bay Leaf.
5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

Serve with warm breadsticks.

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