From "Above & Beyond Parsley...Food for the Senses," published in cooperation with your Daily InBox newsletter.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 3 cups finely diced smoked ham
  • 4 quarts beef broth, boiling
  • 1 cup diced fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 cup diced raw white potatoes
  • 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta (macaroni or smaller)
  • 2 cups shredded fresh spinach
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Heat oil in a large stockpot and saute onions, garlic, cilantro and smoked ham until onions are soft.  Add boiling beef broth and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.  Add tomatoes, carrots, celery, corn, potatoes and garbanzo beans all at once.  Cover and barely simmer until vegetables are tender.  Add pasta and spinach and cook until pasta is al dente.  Season with pepper.  Stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

NOTE:  This hefty soup is best prepared a day ahead and reheated to serve.  Make 2 batches and freeze the extra.

HINT:  May be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  May use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and rinsed well instead of the packaged sun-dried tomatoes.

SERVES: 10-12

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