Dietitian's tip: Minestrone is a thick, hearty soup that usually contains vegetables, pasta, and peas or beans. This version uses unsalted chicken broth and fresh tomatoes rather than canned tomatoes to limit the sodium content.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 carrot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups fat-free, unsalted chicken broth
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1 can (16 ounces) canned chickpeas or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup uncooked small shell pasta
1 small zucchini, diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Stir in broth, tomatoes, spinach, beans and pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add zucchini. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Ladle into individual bowls and serve immediately.