Alright New Year’s Resolutioners, I’ve got another healthy and hearty Italian dish for you! Like the Chicken Abruzzi that I posted a couple weeks ago, this soup is low in calories and fat, but high in everything else (mainly flavor!). When I was growing up minestrone soup was a constant winter favorite in our home, and I always lumped it into the “comfort food” category (which we all know, tends to be the good foods that aren’t so good for you). But it wasn’t until I started making it for myself that I realized how healthy it actually is. Loaded with vitamin-packed veggies, protein-rich beans, and complex carbohydrates, this soup has everything you (and your healthy new body) need right in one bowl!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced into thin coins
- 4 celery ribs, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 yellow squash, diced
- 3 cups curly leaf kale, stems removed leaves roughly chopped
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes*
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (4 oz.) can tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (see recipe in Homemade Stocks)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 (1 oz.) Parmesan cheese rind
- 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup small, uncooked pasta; such as elbow, farfalle, or conchiglie (regular, whole wheat, or gluten free)*
- grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
*Omit potato and pasta if you’re shooting for a low-carb diet.
Set a large, heavy-bottom soup pot over medium-high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add onion and garlic and sauté until onion begins to soften and turn translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add peppers, carrots, celery, zucchini, and squash and sauté until they begin to soften as well, about 10-12 minutes. Add kale and diced tomatoes and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Add potato, tomato paste, stock, herbs & spices, and Parmesan rind; stir to combine.Bring soup to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta per package instructions until al dente; drain and set aside.
Once vegetables are tender, stir in beans and pasta and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle soup into preheated bowls and sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Sidekicks: As a kid I had minestrone soup a couple times a month and my mom always served it with crusty bread, a big hunk of cheddar cheese, and sliced apples, so naturally, that’s what I’m going to recommend…after all, mom’s are always right (–> insert eye roll from my daughter here <–)!