We've been making this summer soup for years, it's from my favorite soup cookbook, "Soup: Superb Ways with a Classic Dish."  Many Italian summer minestrone recipes include pesto to stir in at the end, but this is so flavorful that I don't feel that it's necessary.  Helps keep the calorie count down as well so I can dip big chunks of whole grain bread in it instead!

3 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 TBS sun-dried tomato paste
3 cups peeled and chopped ripe Italian plum tomatoes (canned works fine as well)
1 ½ cups trimmed and roughly chopped zucchini
1 ½ cups trimmed and roughly chopped yellow squash
3 waxy new potatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ½ quarts vegetable stock
4 TBS shredded fresh basil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and cook slowly for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until soft (but not brown).

Stir in the next 7 ingredients through garlic and cook slowly for 10 minutes, stirring regularly to keep the vegetables from sticking to the bottom.  Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and half-cover the pan.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil and ½ the cheese.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Serve hot, sprinkled with remaining cheese.

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