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Italian Minestrone Soup

Serves : 4
Prep. Time : 3:30

1 cup finely minced onion
1 cup finely minced celery
1 cup finely minced carrot
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup kidney beans
1/2 cup whole dried peas
1/2 cup white pea beans
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 parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 cup shell macaroni
Parmesan cheese - to top
fresh ground black pepper - to top

-In a large pot, saute onion, celery, and carrot in butter until very brown.
-Add garbanzo beans, kidney beans, dried peas, and white pea beans, along with 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil.
-Simmer over low heat for 2 - 2 1/2  hours, until everything is tender.
-Add the remaining vegetables, rice or barley, and spices and cook another hour.
-20 minutes before serving, add the macaroni and more water, if necessary.
-Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese pepper to taste.

NOTES : Serve with warm crusty, home made bread.

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