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Italian Bean Soup

from the kitchen of Ari Reinke

3 Tblsp. olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 carrots, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 zucchini, sliced and cut in half
14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
14 oz. can of navy beans
2 Tblsp. pesto
4 cups of good chicken or vegetable stock
8 oz. of fresh spinach, stems off, torn into pieces

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven and add onions, celery, carrots, garlic and fennel.
Stir and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
Add zucchini and cook another couple minutes.

Stir in stock, pesto, tomatoes and beans.
Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Stir in spinach and continue to simmer until spinach has wilted and veggies are all tender.

Even better the 2nd day!

Terri's notes:
~ A rich vegetable soup, almost a stew - you'll love it.
~ Fennel is not hard to find, get to know your produce manager and try new things!
~ Could use kale or cabbage in place of the spinach.

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