What's For Dinner: Vegetable Minestrone Soup

I ended last week with a soup recipe and I am starting this week with another one. Perhaps I need a soup intervention? Maybe. But soups are just so easy to make! And as the snow began to blow yet again around our little lakeside cottage last night, the thought of a warm bowl of soup served fireside just seemed like the right thing to do. I used a recipe from Real Simple as the inspiration for my minestrone soup; I meandered quite a bit from the original ingredients; but given the lackluster recipe reviews, I knew the soup would need a little something more to make it the hearty and flavorful soup I desired. I added in macaroni (cooked separately) as an afterthought; you could also just throw it into the simmering soup and cook it once the soup is nearly ready to serve as well.

Vegetable Minestrone Soup (printer-friendly version)
makes 6-8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup green beans, quartered
1 15.5-ounce can northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen edamame
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup cooked elbow macaroni
pesto, for garnish

1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add the celery, carrots, onion, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Saute until the vegetables are softened, 5-7 minutes.
2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until just darkened, about one minute.
3. Stir in the vegetable broth, green beans, northern beans, edamame, corn, and oregano. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Stir in the cooked macaroni and simmer for an additional minute.
4. Ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with a teaspoon of pesto. Serve immediately.

(adapted from this recipe)