It was Ash Wednesday today so we had a meatless meal since we had to “fast” and begin to prepare for lent. As a result, we made Mom’s minestrone. It was easy and it is always delicious!

All you have to do is… Saute 1 large onion and 1 garlic clove with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven.  Add 3 quarts of vegetable stock, 3 chopped carrots, 2 medium potatoes (chopped), 1 can of kidney beans (undrained), 1 6-ounce can tomato paste, 1-2 sliced leeks, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Cook on simmer for about 2 hours.

If you are going to eat it that day, add 1 cups of macaroni, 1 chopped zucchini, 2/3 cup frozen peas and 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Cover and cook for 20 minutes and serve it up for your hungry crew. Otherwise, save everything and add these ingredients later – when you are ready to enjoy the soup.

If you want to have leftovers. double the recipe and only cook enough macaroni for one meal. Cook more macaroni later when you are ready to enjoy it again.