Black Bean Minestrone Soup

This is a recipe for a version of minestrone soup; I don’t know how authentic it is, but it doesn’t matter to us as it’s delicious and nutritious, as well as budget friendly.  It has plenty of protein and 15 grams of fiber!    If you don’t have black beans, use red beans.               
We like soups like this with some good whole grain crackers and fruit for dessert.  It's fast to make anytime of year.
Black Bean Minestrone Soup
  2          cans  beef consomme -- 10 1/2 ounces each
  2          cups  chunky spaghetti sauce
  1          cup  carrots -- sliced
     1/2   cup  onion -- finely chopped
  2          teaspoons  parsley -- minced
  1          teaspoon  italian seasoning -- or basil
  1          small  bay leaf
  1          cup  frozen peas -- or fresh
  2          ounces  small pasta -- shells, ditalini, etc.
  2          cups  cooked black beans -- or canned, rinsed and drained
  4         tablespoons  parmesan cheese
In a large saucepan, combine the first 7 ingredients; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add peas, beans and pasta; simmer 5-10 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.  Discard bay leaves.  Ladle into soup bowls, top with cheese.
4 servings

Can substitute 2 3/4 cups beef broth for consommé.

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