Classic Minestrone Soup

Even though the calendar says that Spring is coming soon, it is still definitely soup weather up here in Washington!  We definitely never thought that we’d say that when the temps get up to 40 degrees that it “feels” warm!

While I thoroughly enjoy spending time in the kitchen and cooking wonderful meals for us the past few weeks have been really busy as we are launching a new program.  Like everyone else the last thing I have time for is extensive meal prep.

I like to find dishes dishes that I can make ahead and freeze and that way they are ready to go and we don’t make excuses and opt out for meals that won’t keep our energy and brains functioning at their peak levels! 

This soup was incredibly effortless to make and the ingredients are simple and easy to prepare. If you are a vegan then it is right up your alley if not then you can top it off with the parm add in a few low fat organic sausages to boost the protein.  They don’t hold well in the soup so I’d recommend cooking them separately then chopping them up and topping the bow. Enjoy!

 

 

Classic Minestrone Soup

 

Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 45 minutes / Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 6 bowls

INGREDIENTS

• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
• 3 medium ribs celery, chopped
• ¼ cup tomato paste
• 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (I used ½ zucchini, 1 whole yellow squash, ½ red bell pepper)
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
• ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
• ½ teaspoon dried thyme
• (2) small 15-ounce cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes in juice.
• 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
• 2 cups water
• 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
• 2 bay leaves
• Pinch of red pepper flakes (we like a little heat so we did about 1 teaspoon)
• Black pepper
• 1/2 cup Organic Cavatelli (from Whole Foods)
• 1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
• 2 cups baby spinach, chopped kale or chopped collard greens
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
• Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnishing (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are turning translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the chopped vegetables, garlic, Italian seasoning and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.

3. Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add the salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.

4. Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a 1” gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.

5. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the the pasta is cooked al dente and the greens are tender.

6. Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with a pinch more of salt and pepper until the flavors really sing. Garnish bowls of soup with grated Parmesan, if you’d like.

Recipe yields 6 bowls or 8 cups of soup. I froze a container for later in the week.

I adapted the recipe from Cookie + Kate, they have a lot of great recipes and definitely one of my favorite food blogs.

Dedicated to your health and wellness,

 

 

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