Chunky Bean and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Celery stalks, chopped
2 Leeks, sliced [I used only one leek and I should have used the two]
3 Carrots, sliced [I used 9 mini carrots, julian style]
2 garlic cloves, crushed
14-ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil [I used the Hunt’s tomato with basil, garlic, and oregano – super yummy]
1 1/4 quarts vegetable stock [I used only one quart]
14-ounce can cannellini beans (or mixed legumes), drained [I used fresh beans with the overnight process, I would call it a mistake, great northern beans, see notes]
1 Tablespoon pesto sauce [Knorr Packet – easy recipe]
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese shavings, to serve

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the celery, leeks, carrots, and garlic and cook slowly for 5 minutes until they are soft.

2.  Stir in the tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

3.  Stir in the beans and pesto, with salt and pepper to taste.  heat through for 5 minutes longer. Serve in warm bowls, sprinkled with shavings of Parmesan cheese.

NOTES:
Since I used the overnight method with the beans I should have cooked them by themselves on the stove top for an hour until they were tender.  Because I did not do this I had to cook the soup longer which in turn boiled out more of the liquid then I believe the recipe intended – however, that made for a thicker soup, more like a stew I would think.  Also, in the book they saw to add more vegetables if you want it to be more substantial, they mention zucchini or cabbage.  They also mention to add whole wheat pasta and mention to add them with the tomatoes for a longer cook time for the pasta.

Makes 5 1/2 measured cups [with my mistakes]

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