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Eggplant Minestrone Soup

1 lb. very lean ground beef (10% or less fat)
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 med.-sized eggplant, peeled and diced
3 med. zucchini, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, cut fine or chopped
6 med. tomatoes, peeled and diced (if not full-flavored, add some fresh lemon juice)
4 to 6 c. beef stock, defatted; or canned beef stock, fat removed, or a mixture of canned beef and chicken broth, fat removed
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 to 1 c. thin spaghetti, broken
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


In a large soup kettle, saute meat (break up); onions and garlic. Add a little olive oil if necessary. Add eggplant and cook 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients except spaghetti and pepper, simmer uncovered about 1 1/2 hours, add spaghetti and cook 10 to 15 minutes more. Add pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


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