Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

1 + 1/4 cup  uncooked whole-wheat elbow pasta
1 teaspoon canola oil +1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 zucchini, chopped in half inch pieces
1 yellow squash, chopped in half inch pieces
2 small red potatoes, cubed
1 (28 ounce) can of whole peeled tomatoes +1 (14 ounce) can of diced tomatoes – no salt added
3 cups low-sodium veggie broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley plus additional for serving
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons oregano or Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan plus additional for serving
4 cups fresh spinach

Directions

Prepare noodles according to package instructions and set aside (sprinkle with a few dashes of oil or a couple sprays of nonstick cooking spray to keep from sticking together). Meanwhile, heat oil over medium high heat in large pot. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots, sautéing until softened, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except Parmesan and spinach and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan and fresh spinach. When serving, add 3 tablespoons of noodles to bowl, top with soup and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Note: if you plan on eating same day, you can add noodles. If there will be leftovers, noodles will likely soak up a lot of the fluid overnight so keep separate when storing.