Great Northern Minestrone

Accompany this hearty soup with crusty bread and a fresh fruit salad to make a heart-smart meal. Ham or beef bones add flavor and very little fat.


  • 1 cup Great Northern beans, cooked and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon dry basil
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Leftover ham or beef bones
  • 1 can (16 oz.) tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups chopped vegetables (carrots, zucchini, celery, cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup small macaroni
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation: Sauté onion and garlic in oil over medium heat. Place beans in kettle with 6 cups water, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and ham or beef bones. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer 1 hour or until beans are almost tender. Add tomatoes, vegetables, macaroni, and parsley, breaking up tomatoes. Cover and simmer 1/2 hour longer or until ingredients are done. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired. Adjust seasonings. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes: Makes 2 to 2-1/2 quarts.