Warming and delicious - not only is this comforting soup a great choice on those cold winter nights, its full of healthy vegetables.

Ingredients:

C dried red kidney beans
1 T olive oil
1 leek halved lengthways and chopped
1 small onion diced
2 carrots chopped
2 celery ribs chopped
1 large zucchini chopped
1 T tomato paste
4 C vegetable stock
2 C pumpkin cut into inch cubes
2 potatoes cut into inch cubes
3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

1.  Sort and rinse beans, cover with cold water and soak overnight.  Rinse beans, then transfer to a saucepan, cover with cold water and cook for 45 minutes or until beans are just tender.  Drain.

2.  Heat oil in a saucepan.  Add the leek and onion and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften but do not brown.  Add the carrot, celery and zucchini and cook 3-4 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute.  Pour in the vegetable stock and 5 cups water and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

3.  Add the pumpkin, potato, parsley and beans and simmer 20 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender and the beans are cooked.  Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Serve.

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Vegetable Soup