Minestrone + Garlic Croutons

Difficulty: NEWBIES CAN DO IT

Minestrone
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 c carrots, chopped
1/2 c fresh green beans, sliced on the bias
1 bay leaf
1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 Not Chik’n bouillon cube
1 t white miso
1/4 t dried basil
Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning
Favorite dried herb blend
3 c water
3/4 c dry pasta
1 can cannellini beans

Heat oil in large pot, sweat onions, garlic, celery, green beans and carrots for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and water, bay leaf, bouillon, spices and miso.
Boil until veggies are half cooked, then add pasta and beans
cook until everything is tender, then remove bay leaf.

Croutons
4 slices bread, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic
Salt
1/4 c olive oil
dried oregano

Preheat 350
spread bread cubes on a cookie sheet and heat in oven until dry and “stale” but not browned
crush garlic with salt in a mortar and pestle, and pour olive oil into mortar to absorb flavor
in large skillet, pour garlicky oil out over a sieve, separating garlic chunks from oil – retain this garlic
heat oil over medium high, then toss in staled bread and toss rapidly until croutons are golden.
remove from heat and toss with dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
slide that smashed garlic into your soup for extra garlicky deliciousness!
serve soup with croutons on top and some fresh basil.

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