This minestrone is so vegetarian it’s almost vegan (except for those pesky little orzos)! Serve it with a hamburger (just kidding—make that a veggie burger) or with a side salad and some crusty bread. Read Dave DeWitt's entire spicy spring soup article here.
2 carrots, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 28-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
4 cups Vibrant Vegetable Stock (see recipe here) or substitute your favorite vegetable stock
2 cups tomato juice
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon New Mexican red chile powder
1/2 cup small orzo pasta
1 15-ounce can kidney beans (optional)
Finely chopped Italian parsley or fresh basil for garnish
In a large pot, sauté the onion, carrots, and zucchini in olive oil for 6 to 8 minutes, until almost soft. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the beans.
Bring the soup bring to a low simmer and cook for at least 20 minutes. Add the beans (if using) and cook for a few more minutes. Serve in individual bowls garnished with the parsley or basil.