Italian Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

1 cup minced onion
1 cup minced celery
1 cup minced carrot
1/4 cup butter OR margarine
48 oz. can tomato juice
6 cups water
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup kidney beans
1/2 cup dried split peas
1/2 cup dried lentils
3/4 cup sliced carrots
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup sliced celery
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup rice OR barley
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. soy sauce
black pepper – to taste
1 cup shell macaroni – un-cooked
Parmesan cheese – to top

Directions

In a large pot, sauté onion, celery, and carrot in butter until browned.

Add tomato juice, water, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, dried peas, and lentils; bring to a boil.

Simmer over low heat for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, until everything is tender.

Add remaining ingredients, except cheese and pepper; simmer for 40 minutes.

Season with pepper, add the macaroni, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.