Soybean Minestrone Serves 6 Each region of Italy — not to mention every household — has its own version of vegetable soup. Loaded with garlic and pasta, mine takes its inspiration from southern Italy. I have substituted soybeans for the usual white beans, which gives the soup more texture and higher protein value.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 leek, white and tender green parts, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
2 sprigs fresh oregano, stems removed
1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas
1 can (14 oz.) cooked soybeans
8 ounces small elbow pasta
6 fresh basil leaves, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium and sauté the onions, celery and leek for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.

2. Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, oregano, peas and soybeans, and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the pasta, salt and pepper and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and serve immediately.