CANNELLINI BEAN AND CELERY SOUP

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) ready to serve vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups sliced celery
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 can (19 ounces) white kidney beans (cannellini) undrained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) tomatoes, broken up
  • ½ cup uncooked long grain rice
In a large saucepot heat oil until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in vegetable broth, Italian seasoning and black pepper; bring to a boil. Add celery, carrots, beans, tomatoes and rice; return to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.Yield: 6 portions, 10-1/2 cups