Friday, June 5, 2009

Healthier Minestrone Soup:

  • 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or 1/3 c or more chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 extra large onion, diced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3-4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 small can of tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 28oz can whole, peeled plum tomatoes w/ basil w/ sauce
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes w/ juice
  • 45oz V8 tomato juice or 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 25 oz can red kidney beans or equal amount dry kidney beans (soaked and cooked)
  • 1 14oz can white beans ( i like white kidneys but whatever you have is fine) or equal amount dry white beans (soaked and cooked)
  • 1 bunch kale, swiss chard or spinach, cleaned, steamed, cut into bite sized pieces (optional - I add it when I have it on hand, or use frozen thawed, drained chopped spinach)
  • 1-2 tbsp dried basil or 1/4-1/2 cup fresh basil (yum!)
  • 2-3 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 C water ( to thin soup out-optional)
  • 6-8oz grated pecorino romano or more to taste
  • 1-2 c small gluten free pasta, any type, cooked separately (optional)
  1. In an extra large pot ( 6-8 quart size) turn burner to medium high, once hot add olive oil or chicken/veggie broth. Then onions and a little later garlic.
  2. Saute together until onions and garlic are soft, translucent and fragrant, then add carrots and celery. Again cook until soft and translucent add more chicken/veggie broth or 1/2 tbsp olive oil as needed if it has evaporated away.
  3. Next dump in tomato paste, cook down a bit to develop the natural sugars.
  4. Once paste is incorporated add both types of canned tomatoes, stir to combine.
  5. Next add tomato juice or chicken broth, beans, kale/spinach/chard and dried or fresh herbs and spices. Bring soup to a boil then simmer for up to 45min-1hr until soup has reduced by 1/3. Add more water if you want a thinner soup. Add romano cheese to taste Season w/ salt and pepper to taste.
  6. While soup is reducing boil pasta in a separate pot and drain in strainer. Set strainer in pot and cover with a kitchen towel to keep it moist.
  7. If you wish to add pasta add it to the serving bowl about 2-3 tbsp per bowl when serving only! If you add it to the soup and store the soup w/o pasta in it because, the pasta will absorb all the liquid in the soup and grow!
  8. This will make A LOT OF soup like 10-12++ 2 cup servings.
  9. I also add in seasonal veggies like zucchini, summer squash, cabbage/cauliflower and or winter squashes (ie butternut, acorn..etc) up to 2-4 cups and 1 additional quart of broth/tomato juice to thin out as needed.

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**NOTE TO MY FRIENDS**
Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.