Minestrone with Garlic Croutons

Bring a touch of Italy to your dinner table with homemade minestrone that's ready in less than an hour.

  • Prep Time 45 min
  • Total Time 45 min
  • Servings 6

Ingredients

Croutons

2
cups cubed (1/2 to 3/4 inch) French bread
1/4
cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2
teaspoon garlic powder
1/4
teaspoon seasoned salt

Soup

1
tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 1/2
cups frozen bell pepper and onion stir-fry (from 1-lb bag)
2
cups Green Giant™ Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables
2
cans (14.5 oz each) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
3 1/2
cups Progresso™ beef flavored broth (from 32-oz carton)
1/2
cup uncooked small pasta shells (2 oz)
1
can (15 oz) Progresso™ dark red kidney beans, drained, rinsed

  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix crouton ingredients until bread is well coated. In ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, spread croutons. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and turning occasionally, until golden brown and crispy.
  • 2 Meanwhile, in 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add stir-fry vegetables. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in mixed vegetables, tomatoes and beef broth. Heat to boiling, breaking up tomatoes with spoon as mixture cooks. Stir in pasta. Cook uncovered over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and pasta are tender.
  • 3 Stir in beans. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated. Top each serving with warm croutons.

Expert Tips

The fresh croutons are wonderful, but if you don't feel like making them, use purchased garlic or Parmesan croutons instead.

For a heartier soup, you can add cooked Italian sausage or diced cooked beef with the beans.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
350
(
Calories from Fat
100),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
11g
11%
(Saturated Fat
5g,
5%
Trans Fat
0g
0%
),
Cholesterol
20mg
20%;
Sodium
1100mg
1100%;
Total Carbohydrate
51g
51%
(Dietary Fiber
9g
9%
  Sugars
13g
13%
),
Protein
12g
12%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
60%;
Vitamin C
20%;
Calcium
8%;
Iron
20%;
Exchanges:
1 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 2 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
3 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.