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We had some cold and rainy days last week. When the weather is chilly like that, there’s nothing I love more than a nice hot bowl of soup loaded with vegetables! I’ve been on an Italian kick lately, and this soup really hit the spot.

One thing that is great about this recipe is you can really use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Zucchini works great in this soup as does spinach. I’ve also made it with cauliflower and Daikon radish. Want to add some mushrooms? Sauté them with the onions! Just keep the quantity of the vegetables you add consistent and you’re good to go.

First, heat pan over medium heat and cook your chopped onions in olive oil until they are translucent. Once they are cooked, add your broth, tomatoes, beans, vegetables, and seasoning. Simmer about 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of small pasta al dente in a separate pot of salted water per package directions.

You can use whatever protein you like. I happened to have some meatballs I’d made previously and froze so I used those. I’ve also made it with ground beef, Italian sausage, and pulled chicken breast.

Add the pasta and protein to the pot and simmer another 10 minutes or so until everything is all nice and heated through. Adjust with salt per taste and serve topped with fresh basil and grated cheese.

Note: I didn’t have basil this time but I did have frozen pesto so I stirred a tablespoon of pesto into the soup with the meat and pasta and it worked out great.