Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vegetarian Minestrone

Homemade soup is easy, satisfying and tastes so much better than anything you can get in a can. You also avoid all of the additives, high sodium, and chemical flavoring. Soup reheats well, so it's a great menu choice for a busy week.

If you need to lose weight, numerous studies have shown that soup can be your best friend. It's nutrient dense, loaded with fiber to help you stay full and regulate your blood sugar, and low in calories. There are so many ways to vary soup that you need never get bored with it.

 Most americans do not consume the recommended 10 servings or 5 cups of fruits and veggies daily. Soup is a great way to boost your vegetable intake.

This is a hearty, filling soup. It tastes great no matter what substitutions you choose to make to the recipe. Usually I make it with some type of red beans, such as kidney or adzuki. This time I changed it and used garbanzos. I also switched the usual spinach for swiss chard since I have so much in my garden right now. If you have leftover veggies sitting in your fridge,  just add them to the soup.

Vegetarian Minestrone
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 fresh plum tomatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
handful of green beans or wax beans, cut in half
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
6 c. water
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
6 oz. pasta of your choice (I usually use whole wheat pasta, but this time I used organic vegetable shells)
1 1/2 c. cooked garbanzo beans (you can sub 1 can, rinsed and drained)
handfull of swiss chard, stems removed, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In large pan cook onion and garlic in 1 T. olive oil about 10 min. till tender. Add tomatoes, carrots, green beans, diced tomatoes, water, vinegar, and bay leaf. Cook over med. heat 15 min., then add pasta, cook 5 min., then add swiss chard and garbanzos and cook 5 more min. till pasta is done. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf. Makes 6 servings. This goes well with my 100 % whole wheat foccacia recipe.


Debbie September 15, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

I wish I liked Minestrone. I've not ever had homemade ministrone - so maybe that's why it's not my favorite. =) Your cuppa soup looks good, though! Thanks for sharing - I just might be brave and try it. =)

iRaw September 17, 2009 at 4:21 PM  

I love minestrone! It's great in the winter for a hearty cup of soup. (I like to put a little bit of red wine in mine. Ooo so good.)

Meg September 18, 2009 at 12:25 PM  

This looks delicious! :) I had minestrone in Italy and it didn't compare to the heartier kind we have here. I can't wait to try this--thanks! :D

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