Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Minestrone Soup and Prosciutto-Arugula Paninis

Found this recipe in the current issue of Better Home and Gardens and we couldn't love it anymore!  The minestrone soup has such a rich, hearty flavor and the kids devoured the sandwiches.  Definitely a dinner we will repeat.  Especially since I feel so fancy cooking with arugula and prosciutto. ;-)

Minestrone Soup
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth (48 oz)
1 28 oz. can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz. can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (Found them at Walmart, but any white bean will do)
1/2 cup whole grain elbow pasta
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp.  chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large soup pot over med-high heat cook and stir onion until translucent.  Add garlic, celery and carrot.  Cook and stir for five minutes.  Add zucchini, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.  Cook for two minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the broth and tomatoes.  Bring to boiling.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer uncovered for ten minutes.  Add the beans and pasta.  Cook for 10-15 minutes more.  Top with cheese and parsley.

*As with most of my soup recipes, I always double or triple the ingredients and freeze dinner size portions for another time.  Love having these on hand when nights are hectic!   Which happens a lot.....

Prosciutto-Arugula Panini
1 whole wheat baguette or Italian bread loaf
3 Tbsp. prepared pesto
8 thin slices prosciutto
1 cup lightly packed arugula leaves, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Olive oil spray

Slice bread for 6 sandwiches.  Spread with pesto.  Divide the prosciutto, arugula and mozzarella among six bread pieces.  Add tops.  Coat top and bottom with olive oil spray.  Cook in a non-stick grill pan or panini press until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

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