Originating in Italy and literally meaning “big soup,” minestrone combines vegetables, pasta, olive oil, and parmesan cheese into a nutritious and tasty meal. The versatility of the dish lets you easily adjust the ingredients to your preferred taste.
STEP ONE – Preparations
- Get out a large stockpot.
STEP TWO – Make the Soup
2 tablespoons extra-version olive oil
1 large peeled and chopped carrot
1 small peeled and minced onion
1 large chopped celery stalk
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ cups chopped vegetables (potatoes, green beans, corn, and/or peas)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup drained and rinsed chickpeas
½ cup drained and rinsed kidney beans
½ cup small shell or elbow pasta
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- In the large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the carrot, onion, celery, and tomato paste with a shake of salt and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the vegetables, garlic, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes and stir to combine.
- Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, beans, pasta, and spinach.
- Cook for 8 minutes until the pasta is al dente and the spinach is tender.
STEP THREE – Finish the Soup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Remove the stockpot from the heat and take out the bay leaf.
- Stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the cheese.
Recommended Serving Size: 2 cups soup
Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 protein, 1 veg, 1 fat