Fall Minestrone

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1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 cups bouillon or water
1 cup chopped carrots
2 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut in 1/2″ chunks
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, in 1″ pieces
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, broken up
2 teaspoons oregano
pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 16-ounce can chick peass
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated parmesan or romano cheese (optional)

Heat the oil in a large soup pot; add the onions, garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the bouillon or water, carrots, zucchini, corn, green beans, tomatoes, oregano and cayenne. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes, or until the carrots and beans are tender. Stir in the chick peas, parsley and basil, and cook about 5 minutes more. Pass the pepper grinder and grated cheese to sprinkle on top of each bowl of soup.

8-10 servings