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Recipe: Tuscan minestrone

Total time: About 1 hour, 30 minutes, plus soaking time for the beans

Servings: 6 to 8

Note: From Donna Deane

8 ounces dried cannellini beans (about 1 1/4 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil plus olive oil for drizzling

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

1/2 cup finely chopped carrots

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1 clove garlic, minced

8 cups chicken broth

1 (4-inch) sprig rosemary

About 12 fingerling potatoes or small Yukon gold potatoes, 3/4 -inch diced (about 1 cup)

2 to 3 small zucchini, cut into 3/4 -inch pieces (about 3 cups)

1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 -inch pieces (about 1 cup)

Salt, pepper

3 tablespoons finely sliced basil strips

1. Bring 1 quart of water to boil. Place the cannellini beans in a medium bowl, and pour the boiling water over them to cover. Allow the beans to stand one hour, then drain. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in the onions, carrots and celery and sauté until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and sauté just until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in the chicken broth along with the drained beans and the sprig of rosemary. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes.

4. Stir in the potatoes, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and tomato, cover and continue to simmer 10 more minutes.

5. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with fresh basil and a light drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 160 calories; 10 grams protein; 25 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 2 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 409 mg. sodium.

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