• two  tablespoons olive oil
  • one large yellow onion, chopped
  • one green pepper, chopped
  • two cloves garlic, minced
  • one teaspoon salt
  • several grinds of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • three tablespoons tomato paste
  • six cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • two large carrots, chopped
  • one small savoy cabbage, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
  • two medium zucchini, quartered and chopped
  • three cups broccoli, florets
  • one bunch asparagus, thick ends removed, and spears cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • one cup small pasta ( your choice!)
  • one teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream ( optional )

In a medium Dutch oven, over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and Herbes de Provence. Stirring occasionally, let vegetables soften for about ten minutes or so. Spoon in tomato paste and let cook for one to two minutes. Add stock, carrots, cabbage and zucchini. Bring to a soft simmer and let cook for about ten minutes. Add broccoli, asparagus and pasta. Lower heat to low. When pasta is cooked to al dente, about six to seven minutes, your dinner is ready. Add lemon juice just before serving.  If using cream, stir and allow to heat through without boiling.                                                     Summer is here, and is the perfect time to enjoy fresh vegetables. My family enjoyed “farm to table” meals long before it was the cool thing to do. Everyone either has a vegetable garden of their own or friends who will share their bounty with you. That makes summer the ideal time to enjoy tasty and healthy vegetables.

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