Minestrone Soup

Although the weather today was quite mild for October, there was just enough chill in the air to inspire soup for dinner, which wasn't such a bad choice because we were able to use several items from the garden in this delicious version adapated from Nava Atlas' Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 medium celery stalks, diced
handful of celery leaves, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
one 14-ounce can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
one 14-ounce can chickpeas or red beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup peas
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup or stock pot. Add onion and garlic and sautee over medium heat until onions are golden. Add carrots, celery, celery leaves and potatoes, along with just enough water to cover. Add tomatoes, wine, oregano, basil and thyme. Bring to low boil/simmer; cover and let simmer until vegetables are done, about 40 to 45 minutes. Add chickpeas or beans, peas and parsley. Add more water to adjust consistency, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for another 20 minutes.

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