For the Winter Blues- Minestrone Soup the healthy way!

1 cup dried cannellini beans, rinsed and picked over
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup dried brown rice macaroni noodles
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 smallbutternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 quarts chicken/vegetable stock- low sodium
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 bunch Spinach chopped
1 scotch bonnet pepper- (helps reduce the sodium needed)
cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, to serve
parsley, to serve
Parmesan cheese, to serve

The day before you plan to serve the soup, begin the soup by completely submerging cannellini beans in very warm water combined with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar.
Cover the beans, water and vinegar and place them in a warm spot in your kitchen to soak for approximately 24 hours.
After the beans have soaked for one day, drain them, rinse them and boil them in water until they’re tender and soft. After they’re thoroughly cooked and tender, about 60 to 90 minutes, remove them from heat, drain them, rinse them and set aside.
Boil the brown rice pasta al dente (tender, but somewhat firm). Set aside to reserve.
Sautee chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped carrots, chopped celery and cubed butternut squash with a little sesame oil.
Stir the dried basil and oregano into the mixture of vegetables.
Add the two quarts homemade stock.
Stir in crushed tomatoes.
Simmer the broth, for thirty minutes or so.
Remove the minestrone soup from heat, stir in the cooked cannellini beans, cooked pasta and chopped spinach.
Cover the minestrone and allow it to sit, removed from heat, for approximately five to ten minutes.
Serve with chopped fresh parsley, unrefined extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese.

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